Did you know…
Natural gas is odourless, colourless and flammable. It is non-toxic and lighter than air; utility companies add the smell of rotten eggs – a product called mercaptan – to make leaks easier to detect.
Natural gas chiefly consists of methane (CH4), but also contains other hydrocarbons such as ethane, butane, propane and naphtha.
Natural gas isn’t just used for heating and cooking. Numerous every day products wouldn’t be possible without it! From vinyl flooring, carpeting, and piping to Aspirin, artificial limbs and heart valves to sun glasses, deodorant and cell phones.
Natural gas produces less than half the CO2 emissions of coal when burned and far fewer other particulates and emissions. When burned to heat homes or for industrial uses, it releases 25-30% less CO2 than oil and 40-50% less than coal per unit of energy produced.
Natural gas comes in two forms – dry or wet. Dry natural gas is what is commonly referred to by the media and is used in heating and cooling systems, and for electrical power generation. Dry natural gas is almost completely methane (the higher the methane concentration within the gas, the drier it is). In comparison wet natural gas contains less than 85% methane and has a higher percentage of liquid natural gasses such as ethane and butane.
Every hour on the hour in the evenings, a volcano erupts in front of the MGM Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. It’s fuelled by pina colada-scented natural gas.
[Source: forbes.com – Jan 2015]