Natural gas is a fossil fuel in gaseous state. It is mostly made up of methane and can be found associated with other fossil fuels such as in coal beds and with methane clathrates. It is used for cooking and to heat homes. Some countries in the world use it to produce electricity and have gas plants rather than coal power plants. Before it can be used as fuel natural gas has be refined into almost pure methane. Some of the by-products include: ethane, propane, butanes, pentanes, elemental sulfur, carbon dioxide, water vapor, and some trace amounts of helium and nitrogen.
The Creation of Natural Gas
Natural gas is created in two ways: biogenic creation and thermogenic creation. The main type that is used as fuel to create power is thermogenically created natural gas. Biogenic natural gas is created by methanogenic organisms, which are organisms that create methane as part of their metabolic processes, in swamps, marshes, bogs and landfill. Natural gas can also be created deep within the earth where organic material is placed under great pressure. This is called thermogenic creation.
Where does Natural Gas come from?
Natural Gas is often discovered when drilling for oil as it is found beneath the earth’s surface. When organic matter is exposed to extreme heat and undergoes intense pressure for long periods of time the carbon bonds break down and form deposits of oil and natural gas. Due to the difference in its density, natural gas will rest on top of the oil in the deposit. Natural gas can also be found alone and special equipment exists to locate possible sources of natural gas. Companies then drill down and extract the gas using special mining equipment. Once the gas is mined it is them piped to the end user. In many countries there are long pipelines that carry the gas from the source to the refinery or power plant. Natural Gas can also be shipped to huge gas refineries on land.