Natural gas is a mixture of gases. It consists mainly of hydrocarbons. The main component is methane, which is a greenhouse gas so causes global warming. Natural gas is often found in the ground, either alone or together with petroleum. Landfills and natural processes produce a little methane. Usually it is transported to users in a pipeline.
Most natural gas is burnt as a fuel to produce energy. It burns with a blue flame, which can cause pollution with nitrogen oxides.
Natural gas is burned to produce electricity, to cook and to heat buildings. It is also used as fuel for natural gas vehicles for transport. When natural gas is burned in a power station it boils water into steam that spins a steam turbine that turns a generator to make electricity. Some power stations use natural gas in a gas turbine.
Natural gas is also converted into many different industrial chemicals. It is the most common feedstock for making pure hydrogen. Hydrogen is used as fuel in fuel cells, and to make ammonia. Ammonia is used as a fuel, as a fertilizer for crops, and for making many other things. Natural gas is also converted into monomers to make many plastic products.
- ↑ Lebel, Eric D.; Finnegan, Colin J.; Ouyang, Zutao; Jackson, Robert B. (2022-02-15). "Methane and NO x Emissions from Natural Gas Stoves, Cooktops, and Ovens in Residential Homes". Environmental Science & Technology. 56 (4): 2529–2539. doi:10.1021/acs.est.1c04707. ISSN 0013-936X. PMID 35081712. S2CID 246296077.