What Exactly is Natural Gas?
Over 4,400 Google searches are performed each month with the search query, “What is Natural Gas?” Despite the ever-constant political debate and media attention surrounding natural gas, it is apparent that many Google enthusiasts, and likely many others, are unaware of the attributes and benefits of this clean energy source.
At Volunteer Energy, we supply natural gas to nearly a million homes and businesses across the Midwest. We love, love, love natural gas (naturally), but we don’t expect everyone else to feel like we do about this marvelous molecule. That is, at least, until you get to know nat gas like we know nat gas. So let us demystify this ostensibly simplistic, yet powerful fuel force, and bring you a few factual factoids that you can amaze your friends with the next time you happen to be discussing energy sources and their affect on our daily lives. Uh, right!
Natural gas defined
Natural gas is formed when layers of buried plants and animals are exposed to heat and pressure over thousands of years, causing energy to be stored in the form of carbon, which can be transformed into a usable power source. It is found stored in certain forms of rocks in large reservoirs beneath the Earth´s core, often within close proximity to oil deposits. It is also often found closely associated to traditional fossil fuels, coal beds and methane clathrates. Natural gas is colorless, shapeless and 100% odorless in its simplest form. Processing is required before natural gas can be transported to power plants for conversion into fuel.
Natural gas is seen as a vital component to the world´s short- and long-term supply of energy. It is also one of the cleanest, safest and most useful forms of energy currently available today. For instance, generating electricity from natural gas produces very little solid waste and the burning of natural gas has a lower emission rate than that of coal and oil.
As the world´s energy dependence continues to grow and climate change becomes a top-of-mind concern, natural gas will play a pivotal role in how we use energy moving forward. With all of its advantages, natural gas will no doubt continue to be a transformational force in the energy industry.
So there you have it. A brief primer on our friend, natural gas. You can cook and heat with it, run your car or power plant on it. It’s versatile and plentiful and will be a part of all of our lives for many, many millions of years to come.