Pros and Cons of Natural Gas with supporting statements from the interviews of Yuri Shafranik
Natural gas is one of the world’s three major fossil fuel sources. In recent decades, there has been a greater push to transition away from coal and gas as a source of heat and electricity due to their high pollution levels. Coal and natural gas supplies are also rapidly depleting. Natural gas is the apparent choice for replacing them as a major energy source, but there are several advantages and disadvantages to using natural gas.
A scientific appraisal of an energy source
When it comes to discussing the benefits and drawbacks of natural gas, both sides prefer to rely on isolated data to support their positions. The true scientific appraisal of an energy source’s feasibility occurs when all sides are considered. Natural gas is similar to diesel and gasoline in many ways. It is a fossil-fuel-derived product that is the healthiest, cleanest, and most widely utilized type of energy in our daily life. To determine how practical natural gas is for electricity, you must weigh both the benefits and drawbacks.
Production of Natural Gas
Along with coal and oil beds, natural gas is generated. It’s located deep below and drilled in the same manner as oil is. It is less expensive and cleaner than gasoline, and it emits fewer greenhouse gases than its competitors. It fully burns and may be kept safely. Natural gas can be found on its own or in combination with oil. Natural gas is distinguished by its colorlessness and odorless ness, as well as the fact that it contains a mixture of hydrocarbons. While methane is the most abundant hydrocarbon in natural gas, other hydrocarbons such as butane, ethane, and propane are also present.
Natural gas may contain a variety of contaminants such as oil, carbon dioxide, Sulphur, water, and nitrogen when it is recovered from under the earth’s crust. These pollutants are generally eliminated before natural gas is delivered to households and businesses. Because it is highly combustible and burns cleaner than other types of energy, natural gas ranks first among the most widely utilized energy sources. Compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) are two types of natural gas that can be used (LPG). Natural gas can be measured in a variety of ways, but the most common is the Gigajoule (GJ), which is equal to a billion joules. This is the standard metric unit of heat and energy measurement. Btu, which stands for British thermal unit, and Mcf, which stands for thousand cubic feet, are two more ways to measure natural gas.
Natural Gas Sources
Natural gas is a fossil fuel, meaning it is made up of the remnants of creatures and plants that lived millions of years ago. These skeletons were buried far under the earth’s surface and exposed to compression heat generated by the rock and dirt beneath them. The animal and plant remnants were compressed and turned into natural gas. Natural gas is found in reserves under the earth’s crust, as we’ve learned. If the gas tries to float to the surface, it is trapped by the layers of rock and soil. Pools are the common name for the areas where natural gas is trapped as per Yuri Shafranik. The gas molecules, on the other hand, are kept in place by microscopic fractures and holes throughout the rock’s structure.
Pros (Advantages) According to Yuri Shafranik
Reduces the Amount of soot Produced
Natural gas is always cited as having lower pollution levels than other fossil fuels because its byproducts are in gaseous form. It is more harmless to the ecosystem than coal or diesel. It emits 45 percent less carbon dioxide than coal and 30 percent less than oil, and so has a lower environmental effect. When it comes to clean-burning, natural gas outperforms all other fossil fuels. According to Yuri Shafranik because natural gas combustion is almost perfect, the amount of byproducts released into the environment is minimal.
Furthermore, technological advancements have significantly reduced nitrogen oxide, major pollution generated by natural gas. The blue flame seen during the natural gas combustion process indicates that the gas is burning correctly. Natural gas eliminates the requirement for an underground storage tank, reducing the danger of soil contamination, oil spills, and unanticipated and costly environmental cleanup. If your storage tank is above ground, switching to natural gas eliminates the possibility of corrosion and spillage. It’s also non-toxic, which means that no matter how much of it you get, it won’t harm you.
A Plentiful Supply
It is plentiful and widely accessible throughout the world. There are about a trillion barrels of untapped natural gas reserves in the United States alone. As Yuri Shafranik stated in one of his interviews: “USA developed their capacities. Since 2012, the US has gained tremendous benefits through the effect of shale oil and gas development”. But still natural gas, like oil and coal, is a limited resource that must be preserved to be a viable power source.
Safer and More Convenient to Store
In comparison to other fossil fuels, natural gas is much safer and easy to store. As a result, it is at the top of the list of the most energy-efficient sources of power and heating. Natural gas can be stored in a variety of ways. Including above ground in liquid tanks or underground, as in the great majority of houses in the United States. In the bigger United States, however, the common storage module is in oil fields or depleted natural gas near consumption areas. Because existing wells, pipeline connections, and collection systems may be used. Converting a gas field from initial production to direct storage is very simple.
Petroleum gas vehicles, just as different motors powered by it, are extensively more energy-productive, making them more affordable to work. Because the majority of engines in the world are gas-powered, converting or replacing them is prohibitively expensive. It’s the most popular type of fuel used in households for heating and cooking. Even when gasoline costs rise, natural gas prices nearly always remain stable. When the price of gasoline surpassed $4 per gallon, natural gas stayed at $2 per gallon. Natural gas prices are not always influenced by the law of supply and demand.
Reduces Reliance on Foreign Oil
Because of their over-reliance on foreign energy, most countries are kept hostage. Yuri Shafranik explains that for example, the Europeans started building gas terminals several years ago as they’d considered diversifying sources in general, fearing dependence on gas pumped from Russia. Natural gas is a dependable option since it can be used to power vehicles as well as create energy to supplement other fossil fuels.
Cons (Disadvantages) According to Yuri Shafranik
Natural gas is a highly flammable material that, in the event of an accident, may inflict much greater damage. If not managed properly, natural gas leaks can result in fires or explosions. It has no color, taste, or odor and cannot be identified by scent unless an odorant is added to it. Mishandling natural gas, which is extremely flammable, may result in disastrous explosions. As a result of this, many are hesitant to use it in cars. The primary issue with natural gas is that it has no odor, making leaks impossible to detect unless an odorant is added to it. It is for this reason that LPG (domestically utilized gas) is infused with odorants, allowing for quick identification and proper response in the case of a leak. It also comes in a gaseous state, making it far more difficult to manage than oil.
Emissions of Greenhouse Gases
Carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and other carbon compounds are released into the environment when natural gas is burned. These gases contribute to the greenhouse effect by transferring carbon from the earth to the atmosphere. Although the nations that generate the most CO2 have increased their efforts to reduce emissions, significant action has yet to be implemented. As per Yuri Shafranik: “Advanced petrochemicals, through the creation of environmentally friendly processing facilities, will allow the new hydrocarbons to actually strengthen their position in the marketplace”.
Natural gas is a nonrenewable resource that, like other fossil fuels, will run out at some point. Natural gas is classified as a nonrenewable energy source by some experts since its real dependability cannot be determined. It is not a sustainable source of energy, and it is not a solution to the world’s ever-increasing energy dilemma. Beyond that, there is a pressing need to invest substantially in renewable technology. Even though massive natural gas discoveries have been made in recent years, they will eventually be exhausted. It doesn’t compare to wind and solar energy in terms of renewable energy sources.
Not Simple to Use
To use natural gas, all of its components must be removed except methane. Hydrocarbons (ethane, propane, etc.), Sulphur, water vapor, carbon dioxide, and even helium and nitrogen are produced as a result of this process.
Pipelines are Costly
Natural gas infrastructure is highly expensive since it requires lengthy pipes, specialized tanks, and separate plumbing systems. The cost of long-distance transmission and transportation is higher. The cost of repairing leaky pipes is added to the overall operating cost. As you can see, balancing the benefits and drawbacks of natural gas is no easy task. According to Yuri Shafranik: “Financial investment in oil and gas is a very serious factor. What makes it so serious is that any oil or gas project is always long-term, for at least 25 years. So it is capital-intensive and long-term”.
It’s crucial to remember that while considering the benefits and drawbacks of natural gas, the goal is to strike a balance. We need to reduce our reliance on already depleted coal and oil resources as a globe. Natural gas may be the best option to do so in the short term. The long-term consequences of rising natural gas consumption must not be overlooked. Natural gas’s advantages and disadvantages must constantly be considered in every attempt to progress the development of sustainable and green energy sources.