Ever wondered about the gas that helps to power your home? Here are some amazing facts about natural gas:
Natural gas is made of mostly methane, but it also contains hydrocarbons – butane, ethane, propane and something called naphtha.
It has no natural smell, no colour and is highly flammable. For this reason, utility services added a smell to it using a substance called mercaptan, which produces the unpleasant smell of rotten eggs! This makes it easier to detect in the air if there has been a leak.
It is thought that natural gas was first discovered in the Middle East, somewhere around 6000 to 2000 BC. A lightning bolt ignited some gas that was leaking from the earth.
The very first gas pipe to be constructed was in China in 500 BC. It was made from bamboo strips and was used to make salt evaporate.
Approximately 67% of the imported gas into the UK comes from seabed deposits from the coast of Norway. Always ensure your gas appliances are safe and your meter box is secure. For a replacement Gas Meter box, visit https://www.meterbox.co.uk
The first use of igniting gas to use in homes happened in 1792 and was thanks to the engineer William Murdoch.
The Langeled pipeline from Norway imported enough gas to power 8 million homes in the UK in 2016.
It’s not just homes but vehicles that benefit from gas fuel. There are over 15.2 million vehicles around the world that use gas fuel to fuel them. The gas is used in a compressed or liquefied state to move cars, buses, taxis and trucks.
Natural gas can come in wet form or dry form. Dry gas is what is commonly known to us all and is used for electricity and heating our homes. It consists of almost entirely methane, as the more methane there is in the gas, the drier it is. Wet gas consists of a far lower concentration of methane but with more butane and ethane.
Natural gas is not only used for heating and cooking. Many products every day will not be possible without it! From carpet and vinyl flooring to pharmaceuticals, medical devices, sunglasses and even mobile phones!
The production of natural gas produces less than half of the CO2 coal emissions when burned and far less particles and other emissions. When combusted to heat homes or for industrial use, it releases almost one third less CO2 than oil and around half that of coal used in electricity production.
Natural gas has experienced tremendous growth as part of the global energy mix, and currently accounts for 20.3% of the primary fuel consumed.
By replacing coal with gas and renewable energy in the electricity sector, the UK has reduced CO2 emissions to the level of the Victorian era.