A lot of efforts have been devoted to exploring the usage and preservation of fossil fuels as they have quickly become a staple to the functioning of today’s society. One of these resources would include natural gas, which is made up primarily of methane and hydrocarbons such as ethane, propane, butane, and pentane. One of natural gas’ top qualities is its versatility. Through different processes, we have found the ability to morph this fossil fuel into different uses and consistencies. Continue reading to learn about its common alternative forms.


  • Renewable Natural Gas (RNG)
    Also known as biomethane or biogas, RNG is produced from organic materials such as waste from landfills, livestock, wastewater treatment, and organic waste. Over the years, people find more and more materials that can be made into RNG. According to the EPA, there were about 645 operational landfill gas (LFG) projects in the U.S. as of March 2015.

    RNG is most commonly used to produce electricity. With a higher content of methane than raw biogas, this makes it comparable to conventional natural gas and, therefore, a suitable energy source in applications that require pipeline-quality gas.

    One example of a successful use of RNG production includes the Circle Four hog finishing farm complex near Milford, Utah. At this hog production facility, 10 million gallon anaerobic digesters receive the manure from 350,000 hogs and produce biogas, which eventually gets transformed into electricity. As a method that’s been used for nearly two decades in certain hog production facilities across the country, it has shown to be effective. For instance, in 2014, four facilities produced enough biofuel to power approximately 8,000 U.S. households for one year!

  • Liquid Natural Gas (LNG)
    Similar to RNG, LNG originates from renewable sources like landfill gas or biomethane from digester operations. As its name suggests, it is natural gas in its liquid form and is produced by purifying the fossil fuel and super-cooling it to -260°F to turn it into a liquid.

    According to the U.S. Department of Energy, natural gas has so far powered more than 150,000 vehicles in the United States. LNG plays a major role in this statistic because it is used as a way of transporting natural gas long distances when pipelines aren’t an option and is recommended as fuel for vehicles needing to travel very long distances. However, LNG has so much more potential than to be just a transportation fuel. As the largest importer of LNG on the planet, Japan takes full advantage of this resource by simultaneously producing electricity and hot water using city gas.

  • Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)
    CNG is defined as methane stored at high pressure. Natural gas in this form is produced by compressing the gas to less than 1% of its volume at standard atmospheric pressure. CNG is commonly applied as a fuel that can be used in place of gasoline, diesel fuel, and propane.

    CNG is the most widely used option for fueling natural gas vehicles because it provides high-mileage. To provide adequate driving range, CNG is stored onboard a vehicle in a compressed gaseous state within cylinders at a pressure of 3,000 to 3,600 pounds per square inch. CNG is safer than all other fuels in the event of a spill because natural gas is lighter than air and disperses quickly when released.


Colorless, odorless, abundant, and versatile. While so many words can be used to describe natural gas, by exploring just one in particular – versatility – we are able to find out the true potential of this fossil fuel. Are you looking to heat your pool, re-fuel your car, or turn on the lights within your home? Thanks to natural gas, you can fulfill all these necessities with just one resource.