About natural gas
Natural gas distributed in Quebec is composed of 95% methane, less than 4% ethane and nitrogen, and 1% carbon dioxide and propane. To reach the user, natural gas travels through different hands buried in the ground. An intricate network lies beneath cities, connecting homes, businesses and industries.
The environmental benefits and competitiveness of natural gas compared to other forms of energy are contributing to its growing demand in all sectors. Prioritizing its use as a replacement of more polluting energies is a logical choice for the environment and for achieving Québec's greenhouse gas reduction targets.
Natural gas is not toxic and it is odorless in its natural state. An odorizer called mercaptan is added to natural gas to make it easy to detect in the case of a leak. Mercaptan gives it that "rotten egg" smell and makes it possible to detect at concentrations of less than 1% in the air.
In the open air, natural gas rises and rapidly dissipates since it is lighter than air. It is insoluble in water and does not contaminate it. It forms bubbles, rises to the surface and quickly disperses into the air.
Natural gas does not ignite easily. To burn, it must have a 5 to 15% concentration in the air (ie a lower range than that of gasoline or propane) and an ignition source must be present.
Natural gas, part of everyday life
Millions of people enjoy the benefits of natural gas, which make it one of the most commonly used energy sources in the world today. From homes, restaurants and schools, to grocery stores, office buildings, hospitals and heavy industry, natural gas is part of Quebecers' day-to-day life.
Natural gas is commonly used to heat large spaces in hospitals , schools , warehouses , office buildings , arenas, and stores , as well as smaller spaces like restaurants , convenience stores and hair salons . It is also used for heating water , cooking and as fuel for commercial fleets .
The use of natural gas is also widespread in the industrial sector
Énergir's clientele includes aluminum plants and businesses in the mining, papermaking, agrifood and metallurgy sectors, all of which consume nearly half of the company's natural gas deliveries. Since natural gas is the only energy source with a high enough calorific value to replace heavy fuel oil, industries use it not only to heat air and water, but also for processing methods .
Clean and economical energy
Less costly than electricity and heavy fuel oil, natural gas can cut the energy bills of businesses and industries in half. Opting for natural gas also means choosing to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. When a plant uses natural gas instead of oil, it cuts its greenhouse gas emissions by up to 32%, it almost completely abolished the emissions of nitrogen oxides and sulfurs (those responsible for acid rain ) as well as the fine particles and it saves up to 40% on energy costs — key to continued development and improved profitability.
Natural gas is also a fuel
Liquefied natural gas and compressed natural gas motors are a proven technology commonly used for many years in road and maritime transport worldwide. As the best alternative fuel to diesel or gasoline for heavy-duty vehicles, natural gas in transportation also reduces GHG emissions by as much as 25%.
Consume better and less: a priority for Energir
Énergir is a pioneer in energy efficiency. We have implemented a Global Energy Efficiency Plan in the early 2000s. We are stepping up our efforts against energy waste by developing and presenting innovative and responsible energy efficiency solutions to our customers.
Since 2001, Énergir and many of its customers have helped carry out more than 130,000 energy efficiency projects that have helped keep more than one million tons of GHGs from being released into the atmosphere. That's equivalent to 250,000 fewer cars on our roads.
Other avenues for natural gas
Natural gas is also available in other forms, including liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG), which can now replace diesel as a fuel for the heavy transportation and maritime transport industries. Now, businesses and establishments in remote areas not served by a pipeline network can access a natural gas supply via truck or boat. The development of organic matter also gives Quebec access to vast reserves of renewable natural gas. This resource allows municipalities and other organizations to turn a profit on their wastes while reducing their environmental footprint.
Renewable natural gas
Producing renewable natural gas from organic matter.
Liquefied natural gas
LNG is natural gas that changes from a gaseous to a liquid state .
Compressed natural gas
CNG is compressed natural gas that can be used as fuel.