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Overview of Natural Gas Liquids (NGL)

Raw natural gas primarily consists of methane, but also contains other gases and liquids such as water, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and more. In addition, raw natural gas often contains varying amounts of heavier hydrocarbons, such as ethane, propane, butane, isobutane, and pentane, which are separated and purified into finished by-products at gas processing facilities and collectively referred to as Natural Gas Liquids (NGL)

There are many uses for NGLs throughout a variety of industries. They can be used as inputs for petrochemical plants, burned for space heat and cooking, and blended into vehicle fuel. Ethane is used almost exclusively to produce ethylene, which is then turned into plastics. Much of the propane, by contrast, is burned for heating, although a substantial amount is used as petrochemical feedstock. A blend of propane and butane, sometimes referred to as "autogas," is a popular fuel in some parts of Europe and Australia. Natural gasoline (pentanes plus) can be blended into various kinds of fuel for combustion engines, and is useful in energy recovery from wells and oil sands.



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