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Facts about Natural Gas

Facts about Natural Gas

Date: Tuesday 16th December 2015

Natural gas is recognised as an abundant source of energy with discoveries of new reserves of rock coming from shale, tight sands and coal seam. It is also can be used to generate electricity and can provide raw material, heating, cooling and fuels transportation. With its low-emission energy it is also provides back-up generation for renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind (Spectra Energy, 2014). However many people do not truly understand the properties of natural gas as an energy and whether it is a renewable energy, a fossil fuel or if it produces carbon monoxide when burnt.

Is natural gas a renewable energy?

Natural gas is a type of renewable energy however not a complete source of renewable energy as it is made of methane, therefore the answer is split. There are three types of methane including thermogenic, aboigenic and biogenic methane, however unfortunately out of these three types of methane gas, the only renewable source is biogenic methane. This means that one third of natural gas is considered a renewable energy, as methane is available and obtainable from renewable sources, it can be considered renewable in that sense however “because it cannot be replenished on a human timeframe, it is not considered renewable in that sense” (Jeff Reed, 2014). The EPA supports this through explaining that natural gas is considered a nonrenewable source of energy, however unconventional natural gas which is derived from sources like landfill, manure and wastewater treatment plants are considered renewable sources of energy (EPA, 2014).

Therefore unfortunately the answer is not a simple yes or no!

Is natural gas heavier than air?

No, natural gas is actually lighter than air. As it escapes into the atmosphere it dissolves, this process is in contrast to heavier-than-air gases like propane or gasoline fumes which accumulate on the ground (Jeff Reed, 2014.)

Is natural gas a fossil fuel?

Natural gas is considered a fossil fuel as it is comprised of methane. Due to being derived from fossilized remains, it releases carbon from the organic matter as it is burnt. It is formed through layers of buried plants and animals once exposed to intense heat and pressure over thousands of years, leaving energy obtained from the sun, which is stored in a form of carbon natural gas.

Natural gas can be combusted in order to generate electricity and transformed into power (EPA, 2014).

Does burning natural gas produce carbon monoxide?

Appliances that are correctly installed should not release carbon monoxide, and when being installed they should have an adequate supply of fresh air and effective ventilation (Natural Gas, 2014). Natural gas does however produce carbon monoxide yet it is considered one of the cleanest burning of the fossil fuels in comparison to oil or coal. “The average emissions from burning natural gas in to U.S. are 1135 lbs/MWh of carbon dioxide and 1.7 lbs/MWh of nitrogen oxides” (Jeff Reed, 2014). Therefore the rate is more minimal than other energies.

Do you have more questions about natural gas?

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  • Stefan Bradley
    July 30, 2019, 12:44 am REPLY

    It’s good to know that natural gas is a fossil fuel and is made out of methane. My dad is interested in learning more about natural gas and how it is utilized. I wonder if there are any engineers that primarily utilize natural gas.

  • gasNtools
    July 30, 2019, 3:26 pm REPLY

    It is very interesting to read. Some facts you shared here is completely new for me. thanks for sharing the informative post.

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