Natural gas is a mixture of multiple gasses naturally present in the atmosphere. This gas is also referred to as methane, as it is the largest component of natural gas.
Today, we have various methods to extract this gas from deep down the earth’s surface. Furthermore, in this carbon-constrained environment, it looks like the safest option to produce electricity.
If we look at its environmental impact, we will be happy to find it better than other fossil fuels. Yes, natural gas provides great environmental benefits. Let us have a look at these benefits in detail:
1. Less Global Warming Emissions
In comparison to oil and coal, there are significantly lower carbon emissions in natural gas. Studies show that the emissions from natural gas power plants are 50% less than the ordinary coal plant.
Similarly, if we talk about the vehicle emissions, these are also 20% less. Thus, gasoline produces more heat-trapping gases in the environment, and natural gas is a better option.
Methane, the key component of natural gas, can be both beneficial and disruptive for the environment. But, to gain its benefits, we need to make sure that the methane is released before burning.
For instance, methane from green waste and food can provide great benefits to the earth. This form of methane is much stronger than carbon. Besides this, it acts as an ideal source of light and heat energy. Now, carbon released in the production of this energy is less. Consequently, the air remains healthy.
Tip: Though natural gas provides many benefits to the environment, emissions of methane should also be controlled. Although it has a low life span, it can easily trap more heat in the atmosphere.
Therefore, we should spread awareness regarding the right use of natural gas and reducing methane emissions. For instance, we can use the methane obtained from water plants can be used as fuel instead of releasing it as waste for the environment.
2. Reduced Air Pollution
Air pollution is a growing problem in many countries. Some key sources of air pollution include emissions from vehicles, biomass, traffic, wood, etc. Additionally, mismanagement of agriculture and the growing number of water pollution problems contribute to greenhouse emissions.
Now, if we burn natural gas in the right way, we will release very low amounts of mercury and sulfur. Apart from it, if we talk about vehicles, gasoline and diesel produce high quantities of nitrogen. Natural gas is also a contributor to nitrogen, but the amount is relatively low.
Today, a large number of trucks, busses, and cars are running natural gas. Though these vehicles are available at a high price, they are fairly less expensive in use. Several studies show that homes in the U.S powered with coal produce more harmful gasses and their particulates in comparison to natural gas.
So, when natural gas is common in every home, air pollution will automatically reduce. This will further help in improving public health. There is a long list of diseases that are caused by these pollutants. Some of them include asthma, bronchiolitis, pneumonia, heart diseases, lung cancer, etc.
Tip: No matter which form of gas you are using at home, obtaining a gas certificate is mandatory to ensure safety. A gas certificate is allotted after an inspection of your home by gas engineers. This yearly inspection is critical to ensure the safe working conditions of our gas appliances and fittings.
Thus, many countries are now moving towards using CNG, LPG, and all other forms of natural gas. Additionally, solar, thermal, and wind, which are some of the renewable energy sources, are gaining popularity around the globe.
3. Better Agricultural and Commercial Production
No matter which agricultural production we talk about, farmers commonly require energy in various forms. Since natural gas is low in price, farmers find it easier to use this form of energy for their use.
In the same way, many businesses in the commercial sector are using natural gas. Be it a restaurant or a shopping mall; natural gas is widely used for heating stoves, heaters, cloth dryers, and air conditioners.
Apart from it, other common uses of natural gas in the commercial industry include metal refining, food processing, waste treatment, etc. Many studies have shown a reduction in overall gas spending by using natural gas as the main source of energy.
Since the right use of natural gas results in fewer emissions, the overall environment gets fewer emissions and enjoys a large scale of agricultural production.
4. Safe for Sea Life
Fossil fuel pollutants and water dams are wreaking havoc on aquatic life. On the one hand, pollutants are killing life in the sea, while on the other hand, water dams are changing ecosystems and disrupting wildlife.
Natural gas has none of these drawbacks. When small and large-scale industries start using natural gas, it results in less carbon waste. Apart from the air pollution discussed above, water pollution is also reduced. Thus, it promotes a safe and healthy environment for sea life.
5. An Abundant Source of Energy
Since natural gas is present in abundance and it is a great source of energy, it provides fruitful benefits to the environment. The deposits of natural gas are found near the oil deposit. With more pressure and drilling near the surface, the gas can be extracted more than oil.
Some studies have shown the adverse impacts of natural gas on land due to its drilling and production. However, the latest technology has eliminated all such issues.
For instance, during the exploration, geologists disturb the soil and natural vegetation. Similarly, the process of drilling wells requires a leveled area. Furthermore, the construction of wells also results in air and water pollution, contaminates water, and disturbs the wildlife.
But, all these adverse impacts of natural gas are not present anymore. The latest developments in drilling technology have brought a massive change. Some directional and horizontal drilling methods make it possible to extract more natural gas from a single well. Thus, it reduces the need of having more wells for more gas.
Similarly, hydraulic fracturing makes it possible to reserve natural gas in an economical manner, which was expensive before. However, one drawback of this process is the wastewater that is contaminated with toxic chemicals. Research is going on to reduce the amount of this water so that water pollution can be controlled. Besides this, there is a need for a large amount of water to conduct this process. Countries dealing with water crises are finding it difficult to experiment with it.
Other developed countries are making the best use of this technology. The growing technology is successfully reducing all the drawbacks of natural gas exploration and making it possible to reap its full benefits.
Wrapping It Up
In short, natural gas is one of the safest forms of energy. Found in abundance, this is also cheaper in use. Thus, the commercial sector has already embraced it wholeheartedly. Besides this, it provides several environmental benefits.
From air and water pollution to sea life and energy, natural gas is beneficial for the whole environment. Though the excess emission of methane is harmful, the negative impacts are way less than the emissions of fossil fuels.
Thankfully, the latest technology of drilling and extracting natural gas has successfully controlled many of its drawbacks. Thus, the days are not far when natural gas will be widely used as the sole form of energy, there will be no harmful effects, and global warming will be controlled.