Uses of Natural Gas

Definition of Natural Gas

Natural gas is a gas which is an odorless, colorless, and highly flammable gaseous hydrocarbon, which makes it one of the most used energy source across the world. It is a mixture of gases (rich in hydrocarbons). Reserves for natural gases are found deep inside the surface of the earth near other solid and liquid hydrocarbon beds such as coal and crude oil. Natural gas is used for many purposes and it is a type of fossil fuel used as a source for cooking, heating, and generating electricity. Natural gas is a non-renewable fuel that can be used as fuel for vehicles. Some common examples of natural gas are methane, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, etc.

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Uses of Natural Gas

One of the main and largest applications of natural gas is as a fuel for power generation. Electricity power generation is also followed by uses as household use, industrial use, and commercial use—mainly as a source of energy for transportation.

Other main usages of natural gas are as follows:

1) Use of Natural Gas in the Home

  • Residential electricity as it can be useful in cleaning cleaner energy.

  • Heating water at home as it is more economical and it heats faster than electricity.

  • Heating building as with a controllable burner is more convenient and efficient.

  • Cooking on natural gas makes it more economical as it uses a lower amount of energy than an electric oven.

  • Drying cloth as a natural gas clothes dryer is more cost-effective as it can up to more than 50 percent energy than its electric counterpart.

2)  Use of Natural Gas in the Industrial Sector

  • Natural gas is used as raw material and also a heating source to produce chemicals, fertilizers, and hydrogen. 

  • In the manufacturing industry as a heating source for glass, steel, brick, etc..

  • Natural gas is used in manufacturing a huge range of chemicals such as acetic acid, ammonia, methanol, butane, propane, and ethane. 

  • Natural gas is used in making glass, steel, cement, bricks, ceramics, tile, paper, food products, and many other commodities as a heat source. 

  • It is also used at many industrial facilities for incineration. 

3) Use of Natural Gas for Transportation

  • As a vehicle fuel as it is cheaper than other such products.

Advantages of Natural Gas

  • Natural gas is highly flammable due to the high level of methane.

  • Natural gas is colorless, tasteless, and odorless.

  • In case of leakage, it can easily dissipate into the air as it has a lower density than of the air.

  • As natural gas has high methane and low carbon composition it is less corrosive.

  • Natural gas is economical as it is less expensive than other burning fuels..

  • Safer for domestic use as natural gas has lower density therefore in case of a leakage, it quickly dissipates in the air and doesn't let the surroundings to catch fire.

  • The availability of natural gas is somewhat more than crude oil or other such products.

  • Natural gas while burning has more efficiency compared to gases like propane gas.

  • Natural gas can be delivered easily through a network of pipelines.

Some Disadvantages of Natural Gas

  • Limited Quantities: The problem in countries like India is that they don’t have vast reserves of natural gas which means that most of the natural gas that is consumed has to be bought from other countries. Which makes it a rather expensive proposition over time.

  • Natural Gas is Highly Combustible: Though natural gas is lighter than air, one cannot deny the fact that it is highly combustible. As natural gas is odorless, it is difficult to detect leakage as well.

  • Storage: Although being easier to transport it has a volume which is four times more than that of petrol which adds up to the expense for bigger storage space.

Did you know

Natural gas is usually found dissolved in oil at the high pressures existing during a reservoir, and it is often present as a gas cap above the oil. In many instances, it's the pressure of gas exerted upon the subterranean oil reservoir that gives the drive to force oil up to the surface. Such gas is understood as associated gas; it's often considered to be the gaseous phase of the petroleum and typically contains some light liquids like propane and butane. For this reason, associated gas is usually called “wet gas.” There also are reservoirs that contain gas and no oil. This gas is termed nonassociated gas. Nonassociated gas, coming from reservoirs that aren't connected with any known source of liquid petroleum, is “dry gas.”

Natural gas is processed and converted into cleaner fuel for consumption and is not used in its purest form. propane, ethane, butane, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, etc. are some of the by-products which are extracted while processing natural gas and can be used further.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What are the Advantages of CNG as Natural Gas? Mention the Use of CNG.

Advantages of CNG

  • CNG produces far less harmful emissions than gasoline and is more eco-friendly. 

  • CNG is also good for engines as it increases engine efficiency and makes it cleaner.

  • CNG is more economical as it is cheaper than petrol and LPG.

  • CNG is easy to use as it gives the user the option to run the car on both CNG and Petrol.

  • CNG requires significantly less lubrication.

  • CNG, when compared to petrol and diesel, is safer and stronger.

CNG is mainly used as a fuel vehicle such as cars, buses, or trucks.

2. Mention the Importance of Natural Gas.

Natural gas is the cleanest burning fuel compared to other petroleum-based fuels available for the same purpose. Natural gas is very useful in sectors such as industrial, residential, commercial transportation and electric generation. Natural gas is used across all sectors in various different amounts. When compared to all other petroleum-based fuels natural gas emits a lower concentration of carbon dioxide, thus also it makes engines favorable in terms of the greenhouse effect. For reducing pollution and maintaining a clean and healthy environment natural gas is a very important source of energy for that.