Is LNG Safe for Fuel?
Historically, liquefied natural gas is considered safe and non-toxic. There are a few safety concerns though when it comes to the subject. Many times, the negatives tend to confuse the realities, and people tend to have a misconception about LNG safety subject. This article separates safety facts from concerns.
LNG Safety Focus
1. LNG Spill is Harmless to Aquatic Life
When poured on water bodies, LNG vapourises faster and leaves no deposit behind. In this case, no residues are left that can endanger the fish. For this reason, there is no danger posed by LNG whatsoever, and it’s vital to understand that the marine life is safe in case of spills.
2. LNG Industry Safety Reputation
The industry has a long standing tradition of providing quality and safe product since the 1960s. Today, there are close to 100 LNG trunk carriers actively involved. The industry is believed to have conducted more than 33,000 voyages since inception. Ever since there has been no significant spill, environmental threat, or cargo loss reported.
3. Insurance Rates for LNG is lower than that of Crude Oil
LNG is considered safer by many insurance companies and for this reason, the shipping industry spends 25% less on LNG insurance than on Crude oil. The liability in LNG focuses only on fire and possible damage. On the other hand, in crude oil, there is an additional cover on environmental pollution. Coincidentally, insurance cost for vehicles that use natural gas is lower than those that use diesel or gasoline.
4. You can Test the Safety of the Fuel
Here is what you can do to confirm that LNG poses no major danger to life.
I. Put LNG into a glass containing drinking water and take it. It is safe.
II. Pour LNG into a container or dish containing gold fish and you will notice the fuel afloat. This means it does not affect marine life.
III. Drive a lit cigarette to a container containing LNG. This is to show that liquid LNG does not ignite; it is only the vapour that is flammable
IV. LNG vapour pose no toxic threat in case it’s accidentally inhaled
5. Safety Concerns
There are no major threats when it comes to LNG usage. Here are a few risks to consider:
I. LNG vapour is flammable: Just like other natural sources, there is the risk of flammability from LNG vapour. However, this can be prevented with good management considering that the hazard is less than that of gasoline or diesel. The LNG will mostly ignite if there is an ignition threat.
II. LNG is cryogenic: For this reason, it can cause serious burns to the skin.
III. In case of a rupture of the shipping container, a serious fire can result if there happens to be an ignition source close by
IV. LNG is odourless, thus hard to detect
Overall, LNG is a safe and nontoxic fuel source. In as much as there are a few safety issues, the fuel is the safest natural fuel today. In a nutshell, the benefits of LNG outweigh the risks by far and based on this, it is safe to use LNG.