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Natural Gas/Methane - Essay Example

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Name Natural Gas as Energy Source: Advantages and Disadvantages Natural Gas is a fossil fuel, just like petroleum. It is a mixture of hydrocarbon gases, which dominantly consists of methane. Methane, a hydrocarbon, makes up around 90% of natural gas composition…
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Natural Gas/Methane
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Download file to see previous pages In its pure form it neither has color nor odor. The most common source of natural gas is oil fields and natural gas fields (EIA, 2011; Miller & Spoolman 2009). The paper will highlight the advantages and disadvantages of natural gas in relation to its quantity produced as well the energy content, the cost of production and the level of pollution caused by this form of energy. The utilization of natural gas in the year 2005 was highlighted to be 104 trillion cubic feet. This amount will nearly double within fifteen to twenty years (Ghosh et al, 2009). As compared to other energy sources like coal and petroleum, natural gas (natgas) is different in its appearance as well as composition. It is found so abundantly in other planets that NASA is considering utilizing it for travelling in space. One possible explanation for this availability of natural gas is the source ‘microbes’ present under the surface of all the planets. Natural gas is found deeper in the Earth where geologists believe even oil does not exist. Evidence was found by digging a well in western Oklahoma 31,441 feet deep. At the well’s deepest end, the pressure gauge gave the reading 31, 000 psi which indicated plentiful natural gas. Hence it was deduced that natural gas was present at extremely high pressure and temperature, unlike oil. The quantity of natural gas can still not be identified because of certain features but it is strongly opinionated that it exists in abundance. Recent studies show that natural gas is present throughout the solar system, ever since its origin, on all the planetary bodies. Natural gas must not be considered unconventional because it is mistaken to be limited in quantity, despite the fact that there are several rocks that still need to be explored for its extraction (Hefner, 2008). Although US has around 3% of the gas reserves out of the total global gas, the amount of gas available is enough to last the natural gas requirements for up to 100 years. Russia has the largest quantity of gas reservoirs around the globe (approximately 30% of the global natural gas stores). Natural gas is a type of non-renewable energy source. This implies that, like oil, natural gas will eventually run out by the end of the century, if the consumption stays constant at the current levels (Miller and Spoolman 2009). In the process of refining and extracting natural gas, a lot of it is lost in the atmosphere. Attempts have been made to improve the process and secure the losses. In the valuation of the life cycle of hydrogen production through natural gas, it was observed that the energy consumed in the process consisted of a large percentage of natural gas used in the steam reformer. As a result, carbon dioxide and methane are emitted in the air in large quantity. Because it is a non-renewable resource, natural gas energy is greater than the hydrogen energy content in the process of hydrogen production (Mann & Spath, 2000). Natural Gas is gradually taking over the daily uses which heavily relied on other forms of energy such as oil and electricity. In the past, it was used to illuminate streets by using gas-operated lanterns. Today, its uses range from heating homes to being used as a fuel for cars. It is used to heat water, cook food on stoves and provide fires in fireplaces. Natural gas is also used to create electricity in many power plants (EIA, 2011). Not only is natural gas capable of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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