Yet new studies say it may be worse for the ozone layer than coal -- a fuel well-known for its harmful emissions. To understand this controversy, we need to first understand how natural gas works. The Geological Process Natural gas is formed over thousands of years as decaying plants and animals are trapped under layers of rock. Due to extreme pressure and heat, this organic matter begins to slowly break down.
Natural gas is more abundant in the United States that ever before because of hydraulic fracturing—also called fracking—a technique that extracts gas that was once too difficult or expensive to reach.
Gas is second only to coal in generating electricity. Natural gas development has serious impacts on the quality of our air and water. As a result of fracking, communities in shale plays across the country have experienced increases in harmful air pollutants such as volatile organic compounds and ground level ozone.
And although natural gas burns cleaner than coal, its use may actually accelerate the pace of climate change through methane vents and leaks.
Natural gas is made mostly of methane, and methane is a powerful greenhouse gas — many times more powerful than carbon dioxide.
Leaks in pipes and equipment used throughout the natural gas development and distribution process mean that significant amounts of methane are being released into the atmosphere. Learn more about the health impacts of natural gas operations below. What is natural gas?
Natural gas is a fossil fuel formed underground over millions of years from the remains of plants, animals and microorganisms. As a non-renewable resource, natural gas is consumed much faster than nature creates it. Natural gas is a combustible mixture of hydrocarbon gases, consisting primarily of methane—but also containing smaller amounts of other substances such as ethane, propane and butane, along with hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide.
Many of these gases, like methane, are greenhouse gases: It is a molecule, CH4, made up of one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms. The combustion of methane produces heat, water H20and carbon dioxide CO2.
Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, many times more potent than carbon dioxide, which is currently the largest contributor to human-caused climate change.
Too much of these gases in the atmosphere trap too much heat, fundamentally changing the climate of our planet.
Other major sources of methane emissions include crude oil production, the cattle industry, and landfills. Methane is odorless, colorless, and tasteless. What is shale gas? Shale gas is natural gas that has been mined from shale formations. Shale is fine-grained, organic-rich, sedimentary rock.
Shale can contain oil and natural gas in its layers. Millions of years ago, the remains of ancient plants were trapped in layers of mud, preventing normal decay.Apr 07, · Carbon dioxide, used for years to force crude oil out of old wells, likely will not replace water in fracking anytime soon because of technical challenges and limited infrastructure, says General.
Apr 17, · Natural gas-based electricity emits 30% less CO2 than oil and 50% less than coal, and has a lot less mercury, soot, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide pollution. As for production, EPA data.
Fracking to prompt sharp rise in greenhouse gas emissions, study says on the fact that gas emits only half as much carbon dioxide as coal when it is burned – but do not take into account the.
Natural Gas Q & A. Natural gas is a fossil fuel used as a source of energy for heating, cooking, and electricity generation. Workers inspect a natural gas valve at a fracking site in Natural gas releases far less carbon dioxide when burned than coal.
The cause is an unprecedented switch to natural gas, which emits 45 percent less carbon per energy unit. The U.S. used to generate about half its electricity from coal, and roughly 20 percent from. Mar 22, · Also, the carbon dioxide has to be separated from the natural gas before shipping the fuel to market, which adds to costs.
And it will probably never be economical to install carbon dioxide Author: Kevin Bullis.