The search for suitable alternatives included a variety of fuels and has led to projects that may operate on a variety of fuels, including lean methane, non-methane hydrocarbons, crude oil, and syngas. The category of non-methane hydrocarbons now includes ethane and propane, which are becoming available in suitable quantities due to shale gas production in the US.
The case for ethane is similar to propane, with supply increasing dramatically as natural gas liquids from shale gas in the United States have become more plentiful. However, ethane has traditionally been used exclusively as a feedstock for the petrochemical industry. With the increase in supply from unconventional gas production outpacing the current and potential future petrochemical demand, ethane is being considered as a fuel for power generation both in the United States and globally.