Natural gas plays a key role in meeting our day-to-day energy needs and comes with a set of pros and cons. Gather information about the advantages and disadvantages of natural gas.

Pros And Cons Of Natural Gas

Natural gas is an efficient solution for the problems related to energy today, and in the coming future. As it is a clean source of energy, it works quite a bit towards reducing pollution and maintaining a healthy environment. You have to be well informed about its advantages and the disadvantages to avail all its benefits. Natural gas is a fossil fuel formed due to the anaerobic digestion of different kinds of dead matter found underneath the earth’s surface. Hence, this gas is drilled from beneath, the same way as petroleum. Also, there are extraction methods using coal, known as ‘coal gasification’. Due to its high cost, this method is not used to a great extent. Natural gas is found in the gaseous state and, when compressed, it becomes Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) or Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). This gas has been able to gather much attention in the media either due to its hiked rates or due to the sudden unexpected explosions (!!).  Read further to gather more details about pros and cons of this gas.  
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Natural Gas

What Is Natural Gas?

Natural Gas (NG) is a mixture of gases formed from remains or fossils of plants and animals buried deep below the earth’s surface. It is primarily composed of methane (CH4), although it also has concentrations of ethane, propane, and traces of other gases. This gas burns with a low emission rate and can be stored easily.
Pros Of Natural Gas
  • Natural gas is a cheap, environment friendly, low carbon fuel and its abundant availability makes it the most sought after source of energy. It gives out less emission when compared to the other fossil fuels.
  • Due to its high, efficient process of combustion, natural gas burns cleaner than any other fossil fuels such as coal, oil, etc. which leave by-products and cause pollution. Natural gas causes 70% less carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Natural gas can be easily transported through pipelines and as Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in massive tankers. Transportation service though the pipelines is very cost effective.
  • This gas is used extensively in cooking. At the same time, most of the vehicles are switching over to this source of energy to save a considerable amount of money on fuel.
  • Natural gas is comparatively cheaper than coal and has a high heating value of 24,000 BTU per pound. Considering the entire process of processing, producing, transporting and utilizing natural gas, it serves a ‘total energy efficiency’ of 90%.
  • This is a reliable source of energy as bad weather conditions do not affect the energy supply.
  • Natural gas also leads to economic benefits for the country as it reduces our dependencies on the foreign oil. 
Disadvantages Of Natural Gas
  • This non-renewable source of energy can be dangerous as it can explode easily and contains 80-95% methane which is a strong greenhouse gas (GHG). Methane is 21 times more effective than carbon dioxide in trapping heat.
  • Being a non-renewable source of energy, its supply is finite over the millennia. 
  • Transportation of natural gas requires extensively spread pipelines over the land. These long pipelines can disrupt the ecosystem and their installation and management can be pretty costly.
  • After natural gas is extracted, the pressure exerted on the soil increases and cavities are formed at the extraction site.
  • As natural gas is made up of methane which has poisonous properties, it poses a great threat to your health if inhaled indoors, especially where there is no ventilation.
  • Since natural gas is odorless, colorless and tasteless, detecting any leakage becomes difficult, almost impossible. However, in pipelines, in order to detect a leak, a substance containing carbon monoxide is added to create an identifiable odor. But, this makes the gas even more harmful and can even cause death.
  • Natural gas has to be stored and distributed under high pressure conditions and also requires turbine-generators for its generation.
  • It is dangerous to transport the liquefied form of the natural gas, LNG, in tanker ships over water.
  • Depending on the supply and demand of natural gas, the cost fluctuates.
  • There are chances of burns, fires and explosion if a leak occurs, as it is highly volatile. To avoid this, you have to ensure that houses are ventilated properly. 
Despite the disadvantages, it is a stated fact that natural gas is the cleanest and a very efficient source of energy compared to other fossil fuels. It provides great convenience, good service and value for money.

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