Replacing natural gas?
In the late 1950s, one of the world's largest gas fields was discovered in the village of Slochteren, in the north of The Netherlands. The impact of this find was huge. Dutch existing gas systems were linked to ‘Slochteren’, providing heat for millions of homes and the Dutch state, owner of the gas field, made about 417 billion euros on revenues.
For most Dutch households, natural gas is still the energy source for cooking and heating. Industry and agriculture and horticulture also run mainly on natural gas. But the supply of natural gas is not endless. It is therefore necessary to look for alternatives, preferably alternatives that can be produced sustainably from renewable sources. Green gas meets those criteria and can be used for exactly the same applications as natural gas.
Just as safe as natural gas
Biogas that has been upgraded to green gas can be fed into the normal gas network and used by anyone with a gas connection. Furnaces, boilers and other gas combustion appliances do not need to be adjusted for this, because green gas has the same properties and quality as natural gas and is just as safe. The gas network operators also strictly supervise this. A fragrance is also added to green gas, giving it the same alarming gas smell as natural gas.
Natural gas, biogas, green gas, CNG, LPG, LNG… When we talk about ‘gas’ it is no longer just about natural gas. Below you can find a short overview of the different gas types.
- Fossil natural gas is extracted at great depths and consists mainly of methane. Most Dutch households are connected to the natural gas network and it is also used in industry and as a car fuel.
- Biogas consists of carbon dioxide and methane gas and is produced from renewable sources of organic or animal origin. Biogas must be processed before it can substitute natural gas in the gas network or in means of transport.
- Green gas is upgraded biogas. It meets the same requirements as natural gas network and is therefore also mixed in the natural gas network.
- CNG stands for Compressed Natural Gas. It is pure natural gas, brought under high pressure (200 bar) and used as fuel. Compared to petrol and diesel, CNG emits a lot less CO₂ (27% less than petrol and 13% less than diesel). CNG can also be made from green gas (Bio-CNG).
- Liquefied natural gas, better known as LPG, produces less CO₂ emissions than petrol (9%). Emissions are about the same compared to diesel. The tank pressure of LPG at 7.5 bar is much lower than that of CNG (200 bar). So a car that runs on LPG cannot fill up with CNG (the same applies the other way around).
- Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is natural gas that has been liquefied by cooling. LNG is also used as a fuel for transport, especially for trucks. LNG, like diesel and petrol, is a fossil fuel, but much less polluting. LNG can also be made from green gas (Bio-LNG).