Natural Gas Properties

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Natural gas is a gaseous fossil fuel that has methane as its primary compound. It is derived from organic material that was deposited or buried under the earth, millions of years ago. It contains heavier gaseous hydrocarbons, like ethane propane, and butane as well as sulphur containing gases. Natural gas has certain properties that enable its use for industrial or domestic purpose. For instance, it contains non-poisonous ingredients that when inhaled gets absorbed into the blood.

Natural gas is tasteless and colorless and when mixed with the requisite volume of air and ignited, it burns with a clean, blue flame. It is considered one of the cleanest burning fuels, producing primarily heat, carbon dioxide and water vapor. Natural gas is odorless and before it is distributed to end-users, it is diagnosed by adding thiols, which also helps in detecting any leakage. Natural gas is lighter than air, and tend to disperse into the atmosphere. In a restricted state within a house, gas concentrations can reach explosive mixtures and when ignited, it causes great hazard to life and property.

Natural gas has a peculiar character of igniting only when there is an air-and-gas mixture and the percentage of natural gas is between 5 and 15 percent. A mixture containing less than 5 percent or greater than 15 percent of natural gas would not ignite. Natural gas contains small quantities of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, sulfur components and water. Liquefaction is a process involving cooling and condensing of natural gas that removes the non-methane components such as carbon dioxide and sulfur. It leads to the formation of an extremely pure, clean-burning product that is efficient to transport and store.

Natural gas is the cleanest-burning fossil fuel available that leads to a cleaner environment. In places dominated by polluting energy sources, natural gas helps improve the quality of air and water. Natural gas burns to produce no harmful pollutants and is a highly reliable fuel for cooking.