Natural Gas is a fossil fuel that exist in a gaseous state and is composed mainly of methane (CH4) a small percentage of other hydrocarbons (e.g. ethane). The use of natural gas is becoming more and more popular as it can be used with commercial, industrial, electric power generation and residential applications. Various schools, hospitals, hotels, motels, restaurants, office buildings also use natural gas for cooking and water and space heating. It is popular because of its property of instant heating and thus commercially used, in hotels, restaurants, motels, small manufacturing units, commercial office buildings, hospitals and schools mainly for cooking and heating purposes.
Natural gas is produced along with coal and oil beds. It is found deep inside the earth and drilled in same way was oil. It is cheaper and cleaner than gasoline and produce less greenhouse emissions than its counterparts. It burns completely and can be safely stored.
Natural gas can be used in the form of compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquified petroleum gas (LPG). It has two sides to it. Let us examine the pros and cons of using natural gas:
Advantages of Natural Gas
- Less Harmful than Coal or Oil: As compared to petroleum or coal, natural gas causes less damage to the environment. It is made up of methane and results in less carbon emissions. In fact emissions of carbon dioxide are 45% lesser than other conventional fuels and 30% less than oil.
- Easy Storage and Transport: Natural gas is easier to preserve than other fuels. It can be stored and transported through pipelines, small storage units, cylinders or tankers on land and sea.
- Residential Use: Natural gas can be piped into houses for heating and cooking purposes and running a variety of appliances. Where there are no pipes, it can be supplied in small tanks.
- Vehicle Fuel: Natural gas can be used as a fuel for vehicles (cars, trucks, jet engines). It is a cleaner, cheaper fuel than diesel or gasoline.
- Burns Cleaner: Natural gas burns cleaner without leaving any smell, ash or smoke.
- Instant energy: Natural gas is an economic and instant fuel for heating water and large areas as well as cooking. It is ideal because it provides precise control and quick results. It helps in oven cooking as it does not require pre-heating.
- Precision in Kitchen: Natural gas is the best fuel to power kitchens because of its control, reliability and precision. A gas flame provides for precise temperature control and variety of heat settings allowing shift from hot to cold or vice versa, with the turning of the knob.
- Industrial use: Natural gas is used for producing hydrogen, ammonia for fertilizers and some paints and plastics.
- Abundant: It is relatively abundant compared to other fossil fuels, burns more cleanly and is easy to distribute.
- Safer: It is lighter than air and tends to dissipate when there is a leakage unlike Propane, which being heavier than air, collects into explosive pockets.
- Versatile: It can be used for heating, drying clothes, cooking, backing up generator power, and many other uses.
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