Advantages And Disadvantages Of Natural Gas | Definition, Uses, Various Pros and Cons of Natural Gas

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Natural Gas: Natural gas is a type of gas that occurs naturally from the crust of the earth. It is a combination of many gases and hydrocarbons. These sources of natural gases can be found near the beds of oil and coal. However, natural gases cannot be used in their ‘natural form’. They are extracted, processed, refined, and then provided to the public to use it. This is done because natural gas is a mixture of many gases and hydrocarbons and many by-products can be easily extracted from this for various other purposes. In domestic terms, natural gas is primarily used in households as fuel. It is also used in compressed form in the vehicle, popularly known as CNG. Here, in this article, we will learn in detail about natural gas, and its advantages, and disadvantages.

What is Natural Gas? What are the advantages and disadvantages of Natural Gas?

Natural gas has become an integral part of daily use for the past some years. Natural gas is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas that is found beneath the layers of the earth. This natural gas is formed when the dead animals and plants get buried in the earth for hundreds and thousands of years and are exposed to extreme heat and high pressure. Natural gases are highly flammable and this property makes them the best fit as a fuel for domestic and commercial use. In the last few years, people around the world have started leaving the use of conventional fuels, and the inclination toward natural sources of energy is visible.

Formation of Natural Gas

The formation of natural gas occurs when organic substances like plants and animals decompose in the layers of the earth in the presence of extreme heat and pressure. These remains or matters get buried inside the earth and are covered with rocks and sands. These rocks and sands remain as layers for thousands of years and create immense heat and pressure on them. Resulting in the material inside the earth starting to break down and release gases. This released gas is natural gas. So it is quite clear that the whole of the gas formation process is natural, hence the name, Natural Gas.

Uses of Natural Gas

Since natural gas is all organic, it has almost zero threat to the environment with problems like the global warming effect, so it is human friendly. There are certain uses of Natural Gas. CNG is used in motor vehicles and for generating power, Natural Gas is used for domestic purposes, like cooking. Also, it is used as the starting material in chemicals and fertilizers. Generation of electricity with steam and gas turbines.

Advantages of Natural Gas

With the best uses of Natural Gas, here are some of its advantages.

  • Environment friendly: Since the gas is occurring naturally, it has the least harmful residues which could pollute the environment. That is why it is considered to be the cleanest of all the burning fossil fuels. It releases 40% less CO2  than coal and 25% less than oil.
  • Economical: Natural gas is pocket friendly and is extremely less expensive, unlike other fuels.
  • Harmless and convenient to use: Natural gas is widely used as burning fuel in the kitchen for cooking. It is very easy to use as compared to LPG gas. People can use it by connecting to the pipeline.
  • Abundant presence: According to the experts, unlike coal, Natural Gas is present in plentiful amounts. Studies tell that the US alone owns the unharvested reservoirs of natural gas.
  • Effortless storage: It is indeed an important advantage of natural gas that it can be stored easily. It can be stored underground easily in large reservoirs or above the ground in liquified form.
  • Easy transportation: Transporting the gas from one place to the other is not as hectic as others. One doesn’t need to carry big heavy noisy cans(cylinders) to transport it. Just a connection of a gas pipeline is enough.
  • Independent of weather: Unlike other sources of energy like wind and solar, natural gas energy is independent of external weather, hence it is a stable source of power generation.

Disadvantages of Natural Gas

No source of energy is perfect and with the set of advantages come the disadvantages too. Below are some disadvantages of Natural Gas.

  • Finite quantity: We discussed above that there are abundant reservoirs of gas, but most of them are out of the country. This means that India has a relatively less number of reservoirs and has to import from other countries.
  • Extremely combustible: The very important feature of natural gas makes it even more dangerous. It is an odorless gas hence the leakage of the gas cannot be detected and being highly flammable it may cause a big accident.
  • Non-renewable gas: Natural gas, once used, cannot be renewed again. Like other fossil fuels, natural gases are also expected to vanish if over or misused.
  • Installation expenses: No matter whether the transportation of the gases is much easier through the pipelines, the installation, and maintenance of the reservoirs and pipelines are too expensive.
  • Vast Storage: The natural gas can be stored for the time of requirement, yet the storage volume of Natural Gas is almost 4X of the petrol, hence it consumes more space.
  • Malignant nature: Malignant aka toxic. No matter how easy it is to access this gas, ultimately, it is a gas. It emits toxins that are extremely harmful at least for the health if inhaled continuously for a longer period.
  • Not suited for metropolitan: Metropolitan cities are densely populated and providing access to such a big crowd is a very hectic task. Therefore it is not a good idea to install a set up of natural gas in big cities.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Natural Gas

Comparison Table for Advantages and disadvantages of Natural Gas

Advantages Disadvantages
Environment-friendlyFinite quantity
EconomicalExtremely combustible
Harmless and convenient to useNon-renewable gas
Abundant presenceExpensive installation
Effortless storageVast storage
Easy transportationMalignant nature
Independent of weatherNot suited for metropolitan

FAQ’s on Advantages And Disadvantages Of Natural Gas

Question 1.
What appliance can run with natural gases?

Almost all types of electronics- steam iron, stoves, chimneys, ovens can run with natural gas.

Question 2.
Is natural gas cost-efficient?

Natural gas can save money as it is readily available to users everywhere.

Question 3.
What are the by-products of natural gas?

Natural gas primarily contains methane, but also gives by-products like ethane, propane, butane.

Question 4.
Which country has the largest natural gas reserve?

Russia, followed by Iran and Iraq has the largest gas reserves.

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