Fossil Fuel Natural Gas: Slow decomposition of biological matter under the earth’s surface over millions of years resulted in the formation of natural gas. Natural gas is found trapped in the Earth’s crust, porous rocks (such as sandstone), and harder rocks. Oil and natural gas reserves are usually found together as the formation of these occurs under similar sort of conditions
Although the composition of natural gas varies with origin mainly it contains approximately 90 percent of methane (CH,) and is an odorless and colorless gas. The other gases present include ethane, propane, and other heavier hydrocarbons. Moreover, small amounts of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen sulfide, and trace amounts of water are also found in natural gas.
In China, roughly 3,000 years ago bamboo was used for natural gas distribution to a certain extent and it was being used as lamp fuel. Bamboo was used to a certain extent for distribution. A long time ago, in India and Greece sources of shallow natural gas were referred to as eternally burning fires in stories and myths, often concerning religious or supernatural phenomena. Later, during the 17th century, it was discovered that combustible gas could be produced by heating wood, coal, or peat. In the 18th century, similar combustible gas was also discovered in Coal mines. The largest natural gas producers were Russia, the US, and Iran in 2008.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that current known natural gas reserves and those that can be extracted with today’s technology will be enough to meet natural gas demand for several decades. Over half of natural gas resources are located in Russia, Iran, and Qatar. In recent years, Russia, the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom has exported 25%, 22%, 7%, and 4%, respectively, while Netherlands and Algeria export less than 1%.
Fossil Fuel Natural Gas deposits are usually classified into conventional and unconventional.
In conventional deposits gas are often found in connection with oil deposits and are of high quality and relatively easy and inexpensive to extract. Only a small fraction of the world’s natural gas resources exist as conventional deposits. The majority of natural gas is extracted from unconventional deposits that are typically more difficult and more expensive to exploit.
Recent technological advances helped to extract a greater amount of natural gas with more efficient and inexpensive methods. According to an estimate that enough natural gas will be available to meet the demand for the next 100 years more. The steel and chemical industries are major consumers of natural gas. In industries, natural gas is converted into industrial heat (for smelting, drying, and similar processes) and electricity. Natural gas is used for households for heating and cooking also. Compressed natural gas (CNG) is also being used as a transportation fuel worldwide.
Natural gas is environmentally safer than fossil oils as it emits very low levels of heavy metals, sulfur, and soot. Another advantage of natural gas is that it is distributed through pipelines and storage is not required. Electricity generation using gas turbines and condensing power plants is one of the major primary applications of natural gas.
In a gas turbine, natural gas is ignited under high pressure to power a turbine and waste gases produced as a result of combustion are directed to a waste heat boiler, where the remaining heat and pressure can be used to produce more heat and electricity. In a condensing power plant, natural gas is used to heat water to produce steam which powers a generator via a turbine. The other popular fuels for condensing power plants include oil and coal.
Combined heat and power (CHP) systems are finding applications in commercial and even residential facilities. CHP has high energy efficiency as it utilizes natural gas more effectively in harnessing energy contained in natural gas than does a simple gas turbine.
Of all energy used worldwide 23% is provided by natural gas. According to IEA, as natural gas is becoming popular transportation fuel worldwide, the demand for natural gas will grow by more than 67% through 2030.
In conclusion, there are several advantages of natural gases which mainly include the following. Natural gas is the major clean source of electricity production as it emits about 45% less carbon dioxide than burning coal and 30% less than burning petroleum for an equivalent amount of heat produced.
Combined cycle power generation using natural gas is the cleanest source of power available from fossil fuels. The typical caloric value of natural gas is roughly 1,000 Btu per cubic foot and the average gross heat of combustion of one cubic meter is around 39 MJ. However, these values vary with gas composition.