Natural gas

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Not to be confused with gasoline. Natural gas_sentence_0

Natural gas (also called fossil gas; sometimes just gas), is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, but commonly including varying amounts of other higher alkanes, and sometimes a small percentage of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen sulfide, or helium. Natural gas_sentence_1

It is formed when layers of decomposing plant and animal matter are exposed to intense heat and pressure under the surface of the Earth over millions of years. Natural gas_sentence_2

The energy that the plants originally obtained from the sun is stored in the form of chemical bonds in the gas. Natural gas_sentence_3

Natural gas is a fossil fuel. Natural gas_sentence_4

Natural gas is a non-renewable hydrocarbon used as a source of energy for heating, cooking, and electricity generation. Natural gas_sentence_5

It is also used as a fuel for vehicles and as a chemical feedstock in the manufacture of plastics and other commercially important organic chemicals. Natural gas_sentence_6

The mining and consumption of natural gas is a major and growing driver of climate change. Natural gas_sentence_7

It is a potent greenhouse gas itself when released into the atmosphere, and creates carbon dioxide during oxidation. Natural gas_sentence_8

Natural gas can be efficiently burned to generate heat and electricity; emitting less waste and toxins at the point of use relative to other fossil and biomass fuels. Natural gas_sentence_9

However, gas venting and flaring, along with unintended fugitive emissions throughout the supply chain, can result in a similar carbon footprint overall. Natural gas_sentence_10

Natural gas is found in deep underground rock formations or associated with other hydrocarbon reservoirs in coal beds and as methane clathrates. Natural gas_sentence_11

Petroleum is another resource and fossil fuel found close to and with natural gas. Natural gas_sentence_12

Most natural gas was created over time by two mechanisms: biogenic and thermogenic. Natural gas_sentence_13

Biogenic gas is created by methanogenic organisms in marshes, bogs, landfills, and shallow sediments. Natural gas_sentence_14

Deeper in the earth, at greater temperature and pressure, thermogenic gas is created from buried organic material. Natural gas_sentence_15

In petroleum production, gas is sometimes burned as flare gas. Natural gas_sentence_16

Before natural gas can be used as a fuel, most, but not all, must be processed to remove impurities, including water, to meet the specifications of marketable natural gas. Natural gas_sentence_17

The by-products of this processing include ethane, propane, butanes, pentanes, and higher molecular weight hydrocarbons, hydrogen sulfide (which may be converted into pure sulfur), carbon dioxide, water vapor, and sometimes helium and nitrogen. Natural gas_sentence_18

Natural gas is sometimes informally referred to simply as "gas", especially when it is being compared to other energy sources, such as oil or coal. Natural gas_sentence_19

However, it is not to be confused with gasoline, which is often shortened in colloquial usage to "gas", especially in North America. Natural gas_sentence_20

History Natural gas_section_0

Natural gas was discovered accidentally in ancient China, as it resulted from the drilling for brines. Natural gas_sentence_21

Natural gas was first used by the Chinese in about 500 BC (possibly even 1000 BC). Natural gas_sentence_22

They discovered a way to transport gas seeping from the ground in crude pipelines of bamboo to where it was used to boil salt water to extract the salt in the Ziliujing District of Sichuan. Natural gas_sentence_23

The discovery and identification of natural gas in the Americas happened in 1626. Natural gas_sentence_24

In 1821, William Hart successfully dug the first natural gas well at Fredonia, New York, United States, which led to the formation of the Fredonia Gas Light Company. Natural gas_sentence_25

The city of Philadelphia created the first municipally owned natural gas distribution venture in 1836. Natural gas_sentence_26

By 2009, 66 000 km³ (or 8%) had been used out of the total 850 000 km³ of estimated remaining recoverable reserves of natural gas. Natural gas_sentence_27

Based on an estimated 2015 world consumption rate of about 3400 km³ of gas per year, the total estimated remaining economically recoverable reserves of natural gas would last 250 years at current consumption rates. Natural gas_sentence_28

An annual increase in usage of 2–3% could result in currently recoverable reserves lasting significantly less, perhaps as few as 80 to 100 years. Natural gas_sentence_29


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural gas.