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Operational Tips: Using Liquified Natural Gas to Lower Fuel Costs

The asphalt pavement industry uses clean-burning natural gas at a higher rate than similar U.S. manufacturing industries. Asphalt mix plants can burn a variety of fuels, but the most common are natural gas, used oil, propane, and diesel fuel. In 2019, the average blend of fuels consumed by U.S. asphalt mix producers was natural gas (69.5%), diesel fuel (13.6%), used oil (10.2%) propane (HGL) (5.1%), and residual fuel oil (1.7%) (Shacat et al., 2022).

The industry’s use of natural gas is logical because of its abundant supply. The United States is the world's largest producer of natural gas, making it a low-cost, abundant fuel source. Natural gas supplies about 33% of domestic energy used for heating/electricity via pipelines. When natural gas is not available, asphalt mix plants typically burn used oil or diesel fuel. However, there is a growing market for liquid natural gas (LNG), which can be easily transported to asphalt mix plants by truck (Johns, 2019).

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Asphalt Pavement Alliance (APA)

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