Natural gas is one of the world’s three most important fossil fuels. In recent decades, there has been a greater attempt to transition away from coal and gas as sources of heat and electricity due to their high pollution levels.
Coal and natural gas supplies are also being rapidly depleted. Natural gas is the logical choice to replace them as a major energy source, but there are several advantages and disadvantages to its use.
When discussing the advantages and negatives of natural gas, proponents on both sides prefer to rely solely on isolated data to support their position.
The true scientific appraisal of an energy source’s potential involves considering all sides.
Natural gas is not dissimilar to diesel or gasoline. It is the healthiest, cleanest, and most often used kind of energy in our everyday life.
To determine the viability of natural gas as an energy source, you must analyze both its advantages and disadvantages.
Table of Contents
Pros And Cons Of Natural Gas
1) Produces Less Soot
Due to the gaseous nature of its byproducts, natural gas is touted as a fossil fuel that generates less pollution than other fossil fuels. It burns more efficiently than gasoline and diesel.
It emits 45% less CO2 than coal and 30 percent less than oil and hence has a less environmental effect.
Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel when it comes to combustion. Since the natural gas combustion process is nearly optimal, the amount of byproducts released into the environment is minimal.
In addition, technological advancements have drastically decreased nitrogen oxide, prevalent pollution released by natural gas.
The presence of a blue flame during the combustion of natural gas indicates that the gas is burning properly.
Natural gas eliminates the requirement for underground storage tanks, which eliminates the possibility of soil contamination, oil spills, and unforeseen and costly environmental cleanup.
If your storage tank is above-ground, adopting natural gas eliminates the possibility of corrosion and leaks. It is also non-toxic, meaning that low or high exposure does not affect people.
2) Abundant Supply
Nature has provided us with an abundant supply of natural gas. The existing reserves are more than sufficient to meet current and future demands.
The United States’ natural gas production comprises about 95 percent of the world’s total, and the global supply is over three trillion cubic feet. It accounts for more than a third of all global energy potential.
One of the major benefits of natural gas is its abundance and relatively small percentage cost. It has high structural integrity because its price is stable.
Compared to oil and coal, which are in limited supply, natural gas has much less chance of price fluctuation as demand increases.
In recent years, production has increased dramatically due to technological advancements such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
3) Safer And Easier To Store
Compiled data indicates that natural gas takes up about half the space as oil and one-third of coal in underground storage tanks. It has lower volatility than oil and coal, making it safer and easier to transport, store, and process.
Natural gas is also an inexpensive fuel when compared to oil or coal. It can be stored nearly indefinitely due to its relatively stable price compared to other fossil fuels, making it suitable in emergencies where you need quick access to energy supply but don’t want to pay high costs for natural gas tankers or expensive storage facilities.
4) Infrastructure In Place
The technology necessary to manufacture natural gas already exists, as it is utilized to extract fossil fuels.
The familiarity with contemporary technologies makes it simpler for us to utilize natural gas similarly. It is widely employed for energy production and heating.
5) Cost less
Natural gas-powered cars and engines are far more energy-efficient, making them cheaper. Given that the vast majority of engines worldwide are powered by gasoline, the expense of changing or replacing them is prohibitive. It is the most popular fuel used in residential heating and cooking.
Even when gasoline prices soar, the price of natural gas is virtually always steady. When the price of gasoline exceeded $4 per gallon, natural gas stayed at $2 per gallon. Natural gas prices are not usually strongly affected by the law of supply and demand.
Natural gas is easily transportable by ships, tankers, and pipelines. It has a less carbon impact and is easier to carry due to its reduced weight. It makes natural gas an attractive alternative for domestic usage. The production of polymers, chemicals, fertilizers, and hydrogen is one of the primary advantages of natural gas.
1. Carbon Dioxide Emissions And Global Warming
The main drawback of natural gas is that it releases considerable quantities of greenhouse gases.
Even while the amount of greenhouse gas emissions are lower than other fossil fuels such as coal or oil, it is still much greater when compared to the majority of alternative energy.
Since greenhouse gas emissions help global warming, we as a global community should minimize our reliance on natural gas as a major energy source to prevent rising air and ocean temperature.
2. Natural Gas Is A Nonrenewable Resource.
Gas is also a limited and nonrenewable resource, given that the creation of natural gas often requires millions of years.
Even though there is an abundance of natural gas remaining at this moment, humanity will eventually exhaust this resource.
If we have not transitioned to renewable energies by then, our energy supply might be endangered, and we will be in serious difficulty.
Thankfully, nations worldwide have made substantial efforts to convert to renewable energies.
Thus, it is anticipated that within a few decades, we will be able to fulfill the bulk of our energy demand via the use of renewable resources, and natural gas will lose its significance as a key energy source.
3. Air Pollution
During gas burning for energy generation, considerable quantities of hazardous gases and other toxic components are released into the atmosphere.
This may result in major health difficulties, particularly for those who reside in places with poor air quality and high emission levels.
4. Acid Rain
The production of hazardous gases also results in acid rain generation. Depending on the degree of emissions, acid rain can cause severe environmental problems locally.
For instance, since plants are typically quite sensitive to the soil’s acidity levels, acid rain can significantly reduce crop yields, which can lead to severe poverty and starvation, particularly in developing nations where the local population relies on crop yields as their primary food source.
5. Ozone Depletion
Components of natural gas production emissions may potentially contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer.
The ozone layer protects not only us from excessive radiation but also our flora and animals.
If this layer is eroded, major health conditions such as cancer may become more prevalent.
Importance Of Natural Gas
Is Propane A Natural Gas?
It might be difficult to differentiate between natural gas and propane. Propane is one of the four fuels that make up natural gas, butane, methane, and ethane. While propane is a component of natural gas, its separation during processing transforms it into a distinct fuel source.
Is Natural Gas Renewable?
Therefore, what we typically understand as natural gas is not renewable; nevertheless, there are renewable natural gas versions, such as biomethane.
Although natural gases are cleaner than coal and other fossil fuels, regardless of their source, they nevertheless emit carbon emissions.
1.How is natural gas similar to oil?
Oil and natural gas are both fossil fuels produced for thousands of years from the remnants of dead plants and animals. They are both utilized as heat sources, create energy, and are composed of various hydrocarbons that are both hydrogen and carbon components.
2.Difference between propane and natural gas?
Propane is considered a greener and more energy-efficient fuel than natural gas. Homes are supplied with natural gas via gas pipes. Propane is provided in propane tanks. Natural gas is lighter than air, and propane is heavier.
3.Does propane burn hotter than natural gas?
Some grilling purists feel that propane burns hotter than natural gas (2,500 BTUs vs. 1,000 BTUs) are one of the essential elements to consider. Propane is regarded as ecologically favorable due to its lack of leadership, minimal greenhouse gas emissions, and water vapor and carbon dioxide production.
4.Is natural gas flammable?
The flammability range for natural gas is roughly 5 to 15%. This indicates that any combination comprising less than 5% or more than 15% natural gas to air cannot sustain burning. When combined with air, natural gas is flammable and subjected to an ignition source.