Fossil fuels are amongst the main energy sources in the world. From domestic applications to commercial usage, fossil fuels cater to all our energy needs. Natural gas is one of the most popular types of fossil fuels. Due to its excessive usage, there has been a significant drop in its natural reserves. Different countries are finding ways to shift their dependency on natural gas to other fossil fuels.
The frequent usage of natural gas does not negate the fact that it has some disadvantages too. Some of its drawbacks can be ignored while others require stringent efforts. This blog will discuss the pros and cons of natural gas in detail.
Natural gas has many advantages, and some of the major ones are given below:
Natural gas has been used as an energy source for a long time. From the extraction of natural gas to its refining, the whole process is already established. Although there have been some advancements in the processing of natural gas, the basic mechanism is pretty much the same. That is why there is no need for new techniques for the processing of natural gas. Due to this reason, the processing of natural gas is considered very convenient.
One big advantage of natural gas is its cost efficiency. Unlike oil, the processing of natural gas requires less cost. The less processing cost of natural gas also makes it a lot more affordable than other fossil fuels. The natural gas used in automobiles lasts longer, cutting down the fueling expense. It is also used as a cheap energy source in houses for cooking and running gas geysers.
Natural gas finds a variety of applications due to its flexible nature. From running large power plants to domestic usage, natural gas is used everywhere. With time, natural gas is expanding its scope and becoming more useful.
One of the biggest advantages of natural gas is that it is highly reliable. All the applications in which natural gas is employed can serve for a longer period. The power plants that use natural gas can generate electricity around the clock.
Natural gas is usually found with other energy sources like crude oil and coal. When reserves of natural gas are extracted, they are present in combination with other useful resources. That is why natural gas has to be separated from its compound during processing.
A big advantage of natural gas is that it exists in large quantities naturally. From ocean beds to underground wells, natural gas is found everywhere. The existence of natural gas is not restricted to one area of the globe; rather, it is found in many places.
Most of the countries of the world are dependent on oil for meeting their energy requirements. Natural gas serves as an excellent alternative of oil because it can be used in most of the energy-producing applications. The lesser reliability on oil can also have a great impact on the economy of a country.
Some of the major drawbacks of natural gas are given below:
One big drawback of natural gas is that it is highly flammable. It is therefore dangerous as accidents can happen in a blink of an eye. There are some factors which increase its harmfulness, such as odorless and colorless nature. Due to this reason, it is hard to detect natural gas leakage in a room. The gas companies pack it in large containers that are built to withstand high-pressure.
Although natural gas has less harmful emissions than coal, still it cannot be deemed as completely environment-friendly. The natural gas upon heating produces carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and carbon monoxide. These are very harmful elements as they cause different types of environmental pollution. They carry carbon content to the atmosphere that results in the greenhouse effect.
All the fossil fuels, including natural gas, have a finite number of deposits. It will not last forever like other sources such as solar or wind energy. Therefore, long term dependency on natural gas is not possible. We can only use it for a limited timespan until we discover some new form of energy. However, at the moment, we can try and improve the energy efficiency of solar and wind power production.
The gas in its natural form has to go through the processing plant to be safe for use. Many harmful components such as sulfur, helium, carbon dioxide, and hydrocarbons are found in natural gas at the time of extraction. These substances are removed from natural gas through processing.
Another drawback of natural gas is that it requires an extensive mechanism for transportation. It is usually transported from one place to the other by using pipelines. The length of the pipeline depends on the distance between the source and destination. You also require big cranes, heavy machinery, and a large workforce.
Unlike other fossil fuels, the storage of natural gas is a daunting task. There is always a risk of fire associated with natural gas due to its flammable nature. That is why it is stored in large tanks with foolproof sealing. There is always a need for constant supervision in the storage room to prevent any accidents.
Natural gas is an excellent energy source that has been serving mankind for many years. Just like other types of fossil fuels, it has advantages and disadvantages. The information mentioned above will help you understand both aspects of natural gas.