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What is Natural Gas?
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Natural Gas is one of the types of fossil fuel and it can be used for cooking, generating electricity or heating. It is non-renewable fuel and it is used as a fuel for many vehicles as well.

Natural gas is formed when the dead and decomposed plants and animals are exposed to extreme pressure and heat under the earth’s surface for millions of years.

It doesn't have any color or odor and it contains methane, which is the main reason why it is used as a fuel. It is flammable and it is one of the most popular sources of energy globally.

Features of Natural Gas

Prominent features of Natural Gas are:

  • It can be abundantly found under the seabed.
  • It is non-renewable, so we must be careful while using it
  • It is highly flammable since it contains high level of methane
  • It is colorless,tasteless and odorless
  • It is lighter than air since the density of natural gas is lesser than air
  • It has a low carbon composition so it's not highly corrosive

What are the sources of Natural Gas?

Natural Gas is generally extracted from the surface of earth and it is formed when the dead and decomposed animals and plants are naturally compressed under high temperature and pressure. While extracting natural gas, scientists look for a particular type of rock formation under which natural gas is found abundantly. Once the rocks are detected six thousand feet wells are dug and the gas is extracted from the rock. The natural gas is then sent to power plants so that it can be refined and can be used commercially.

Advantages of Natural Gas

It is clean for the environment

Amongst all the fossil fuels, natural gas is considered to be the cleanest alternative. This is because natural gas emits the least pollutants. This keeps the air cleaner.

Natural Gas is Economical

Natural Gas is economical compared to other alternatives to cooking fuel. Unlike other options for cooking fuels, it can be directed to people's homes via pipelines, which cuts the cost of packaging, processing and delivering to much extent.

Natural Gas is safe to use

One of the biggest disadvantages of using LPG as cooking fuel is the possibility of leakage. There have been catastrophic casualties due to the usage of LPG as cooking fuel. However, CNG is lighter than air, so it is unlikely that it'll linger around in the kitchen in case of leakage, hence such consequences can be avoided.

Available abundantly

Unlike other fossil fuels, natural gas is available abundantly in the environment and the amount of natural gas available is greater than all the other fossil fuels combined.

It's efficient

It is more efficient since it leaves zero residue compared to its alternatives and the cooking time for natural gas is also less.

Easy to deliver

The delivery of natural gas is very easy. If many households from the same locality use natural gas, then the gas will be delivered through gas pipelines, which is a more affordable and convenient method to deliver gas.

Disadvantages of Natural Gas

Limited Quantities

Since India doesn't have large reserves of natural gas, importing natural gas from other countries could be highly expensive in the short run

It is highly combustible

Even if natural gas is lighter than air, it is highly flammable owing to its physical properties. Since it's colorless and odorless, it is also difficult to detect any form of leakage

It is a Non-Renewable Source of Energy

Since Natural Gas is a non-renewable source of energy, it'll eventually get depleted if it is not used in a sustainable way.

It emits carbon Dioxide

One of the largest disadvantages of natural gas is that it emits carbon dioxide. And as we already know, carbon dioxide can be detrimental to the environment in the long run and could ultimately lead to climate change and global warming.

Undetectable Leakage

Since it is colorless and odorless, it is almost impossible to detect any leakage, if happens. If the leakage isn't recognized, the natural gas could have catastrophic consequences on the life and property of people

It takes a long time to process

Natural Gas takes a long time to process. The natural gas found in crude form is not usable and it has to go through a number of filtration process to be converted into a usable form.