Methane: Key Facts On Natural Gas’ Principle Component

Methane is the principal component of natural gas, itself a flammable mixture of hydrocarbon compounds that frequently form around coal and petroleum. Natural gas is looking to be a promising transitional fuel. The growth of natural gas power throughout the United States alone has helped it begin the transition away from heavily polluting coal.

Image source: thefiscaltimes.com

Although natural gas is the primary source of combustible methane used in energy production, methane itself is a common byproduct of many industrial and agricultural processes. Much methane itself is produced from flatulence produced by cattle farming and from the decomposition of waste in modern sanitary landfills. Ways of harnessing methane produced elsewhere have been in place. Gas extracted from landfills and agriculture, for instance, have been used domestically for energy production in the same way as natural gas.

On its own, methane is a very potent pollutant, even more so than the exhaust it produces during energy production. In general, environmentalists feel it safer to burn the methane than to let it escape into the atmosphere. Domestic natural gas consumption and flaring have been done in response to this, and the growth of natural gas production offers both an economic solution to natural gas along with a few potential concerns. To keep off methane pollution modern plants have to keep facilities sealed tightly to prevent leaks.

Methane can be burned in conventional steam turbine energy systems as with coal and petroleum. Today, however, plants dedicated to burning natural gas utilize special systems that burn the gas more effectively, producing more power from fuel gas in the process.

Image source: worldwatch.org

Brian Alfaro and Primera Energy are dedicated to minimizing the ecological impact of their oil and gas exploration operations in Texas. Visit this Facebook page for more on his company’s commitment to sound energy production.

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