There are many different types of energy today. Coal, oil, and electricity are the main ones people are aware of because of their prevalence. Solar, wind, hydro-, and nuclear power are notable renewable sources making headlines today as well. However, natural gas is an energy source many people may not be familiar with. Natural gas has made some news in recent years, but this article on fun facts about natural gas you should know will educate you on it further. While this isn’t a comprehensive guide to natural gas, these facts will introduce you to natural gas as an alternative fuel.
It’s an Organic Energy Source
Natural gas is an organic energy source in the sense that it’s composed of dead plant and animal matter. Like coal or biomass, natural gas forms from decayed organic compounds layered onto each other through millions of years of degradation. Time, heat, and pressure come together to make these materials into natural gas.
It Burns Cleanly
Another fun fact about natural gas you should know is that it’s a clean-burning energy source, unlike coal. While it’s a fossil fuel, natural gas doesn’t produce as much carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases as coal. While some might compare it to renewable sources, like wind or solar power, natural gas offers a cleaner nonrenewable energy alternative to coal or oil commonly used today. Present technologies, such as natural gas flow meters, even allow combustion plants to improve efficiency, productivity, and natural gas flow without producing as many pollutants as other combustible fuels.
It’s Tasteless and Colorless
By nature, natural gas is odorless, colorless, and tasteless, meaning that it has no distinct smell or taste. To protect consumers from carbon monoxide poisoning, safety officials add mercaptan to it to make it smell sulfuric. This allows people to detect a possible gas leak and safely evacuate the premises.
It Has a Variety of Applications
While most see natural gas as a possible source of electricity, it has many other considerable applications. Other than electricity, some common applications include heating, powering manufacturing and industry, and outdoor grilling. Natural gas can power some vehicles as well, although this isn’t widespread.