Natural gas is also a fossil fuel like oil. And it is also a non-renewable energy similar to oil energy because it can’t be replaced in human time-frame. It is formed when plants and animals, which store the solar energy in them, gets buried inside the earth and due to heat and pressure applied over a span of 1000 years.

Natural gas is a mixture of hydrocarbon gas. Its main constituent is methane of the alkane family. It also consists of various other higher order alkanes such as ethane, butane and others in varying proportions. It might also consist of small quantities of carbon dioxide, nitrogen and hydrogen sulphide.

Natural gas is a vital component of the world's supply of energy. It is one of the cleanest, safest, and most useful of all energy sources. Despite its importance, however, there are many misconceptions about natural gas. For instance, the word 'gas' itself has a variety of different uses, and meanings. When we fuel our car, we put 'gas' in it. However, the gasoline that goes into your vehicle, while a fossil fuel itself, is very different from natural gas. The 'gas' in the common barbecue is actually propane, which, while closely associated and commonly found in natural gas, is not really natural gas itself. While commonly grouped in with other fossil fuels and sources of energy, there are many characteristics of natural gas that make it unique. Below is a bit of background information about natural gas, what it is exactly, how it is formed, and how it is found in nature.

Natural gas uses

  • It is primarily used for domestic purpose, mainly for cooking.

  • It is used for heating, and electricity generation.

  • In some places it is also used as an automobile fuel.

  • And it is also used in some industries, mostly the plastic manufacturing industries.

 

 

Natural gas extraction

Natural gas is extracted from the earth by blind extraction and well drilling.

In blind extraction, the geological exploration is done and the depth at which the natural gas is located is found out. The natural gas are found at the fine pores of various rocks that are below the ground and the depth varies from 1000 meters to several kilometers.

In well drilling, there are specially built wells called the producing or operating wells that are used for extracting the natural gas.

 

Natural gas purification

Before natural gas is used as a fuel, it must undergo various processes to remove various impurities. Some of the by-products that are produced during these processes are ethane, propane, butane, pentane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulphide, water vapor, helium and nitrogen.

Some facts on natural gas

Unlike production of solid fossil minerals, the main feature of gas production is that gas remains in sealed structures at all times from its extraction to the moment of its delivery to consumer.

Natural gas produces 45% less carbon dioxide than coal while burning.

Museums use natural gas-fueled equipment to help maintain the proper humidity for the conservation of art, fabrics and historic papers.

 

Some facts on natural gas (cont..)

If all the natural gas pipelines in the U.S. were connected to each other they would stretch to and from the moon almost three times.

Natural gas in its pure form is colorless and odorless. Utility companies add the smell of rotten eggs - a product called mercaptan - to make natural gas detectable.

There are more than 120,000 natural gas vehicles on American roads, as many companies and municipalities are deploying fleets of natural-gas powered vehicles to reduce emissions.

Natural gas is efficient. About 90 percent of the gas produced is delivered to customers as usable energy. Greater efficiency means fewer greenhouse gas emissions. 

 

Natural energy advantages

Natural gas is domestically available.

Natural gas is clean.

Natural gas is abundant.

Natural gas is efficient and reliable.

Natural gas is versatile and it is one of the safest fuel available now.

Typical Composition of Natural Gas
Methane
CH4
70-90%
Ethane
C2H6
0-20%
Propane
C3H8
Butane
C4H10
Carbon Dioxide
CO2
0-8%
Oxygen
O2
0-0.2%
Nitrogen
N2
0-5%
Hydrogen sulphide
H2S
0-5%
Rare gases
A, He, Ne, Xe
trace

 

Steam energy

 

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