How natural gas formed?
Natural gas is mixture of methane, with other hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, nitrogen and hydrogen sulfide that occur naturally and turned in hydrocarbon gas. This is a non-renewable source of energy including heat and electricity. Today we use it to cook food, to run our vehicles and in some organic chemicals. This gas is founded underneath natural rocks formations and took period of hundred years in process of biogenic and thermogenic which turn plants and animals fossil into gas and other natural resources. Biogenic gas is created by methanogenic organisms in marshes, bogs, landfills, and shallow sediments while due to high pressure on buried organic material under the earth, thermogenic gas come into existence.
How we get natural gas?
In late 19th century natural gas was obtained as by-product of crude oil and this carbon gas come out from this solution due to extreme pressure in the core of earth. At that time this unwanted natural gas a reason of trouble in active oil fields and gets wasted in huge quantity. But today this unwanted gas is returned to reservoir or is delivered to end user through pipelines. These pipelines transport this gas to demanding regions in economically feasible manner.
Gas to Liquids is another method to export it to user. Here stranded natural gas is converted into synthetic gasoline, diesel, or jet fuel through the Fischer-Tropsch process. Geologists use different tools to locate the region to drill wells. One famous method is Seismic surveys as in this method echoes are used to find the place. Echoes from a vibration source at the Earth’s surface collect information about the rocks beneath. Rock samples are also studies before staring drilling and once gas is found it flows up through the well to the surface of the ground and into large pipelines.
Impact of natural gas on environment:
When natural gas if drilled or piped from the earth, it is processed to remove impurities like carbon dioxide and moisture. The pure form is delivered to users as final product. The main component of this gas is methane which is an odorless and colorless gas and has a high combustibility. One issue that is focused nowadays with use of this resource of energy is its impact of environment. Air emission from natural gas power plants is contributing to global warming as it is responsible for greenhouse gases emission in heavy volume.
Besides air, aquatic life also gets affected when power plants take natural resources from rivers and lakes and discharge waste into them. Therefore it is important to reduce use of water in processing to reduce its discharge. Natural gas with high concentrations of hydrogen sulfide is usually flared which produces different harmful compounds. Pipelines and wells use engine to run the equipments and compressors in plants which produces noise and air pollution.
New useful methods of drilling wells are also effecting environment. Hydrofracking involves pumping liquids under high pressure into a well to fracture the rock and allow gas to escape from tiny pockets in the rock. This method is reason of water waste which contain dissolved chemical in it as well. It also causes small earthquakes, but as they are small therefore they are neglected.
Pros and cons of natural gas:
- Natural gas is safe and clean fossil fuel
- Emission of carbon from natural gas is half in quantity as compared to coal or other resources
- Its use is helping us in controlling greenhouse effect
- It is very economical and cost much lesser than other non-renewable sources
- It is leaving bad effects of environment
- It is a non-renewable source of energy
- Methane is 21% more effective at trapping heat than carbon