Making Compelling Case for Natural Gas


Opinion Piece

By: NJ Ayuk

When most people hear the word “gas,” they’re automatically inclined to think about the type of gas that pumps directly into their fuel tank. But although petroleum gas is the most common gasoline fuel we encounter daily, it is only one “type” of gas.

By speaking of gas, we also may refer to “natural gas,” which (although it shares similarities) is intrinsically different from petroleum-based gasoline as a whole.

Like oil, natural gas is a resource that is extraordinarily abundant in Africa and many other countries around the globe. As a result, I’ve observed a renewed interest in natural gas in the last several months.

The need for alternative energy doesn’t require us to overlook fuel sources at our fingertips entirely. For example, despite being commonly roped in with petroleum-based fuel, natural gas burns significantly cleaner than oil and coal.

Being an emission-friendly fuel, natural gas can absolutely serve us in our objective of building a greener future.

Redefining Natural Gas

It’s easy to overlook things that we don’t have direct involvement with. For example, most people only think about natural gas when their stove or water heater ceases working.

As a result, many people aren’t even aware of how natural gas is derived — let alone its molecular composition.

In my objective to help educate people and empower them with knowledge about the vast and varied world of energy, it wouldn’t hurt to provide a refresher on what natural gas actually is and how it is obtained.

Put simply, natural gas (like crude oil) is an energy source formed by fossil fuels under pressure deep beneath the earth’s surface. Natural gas is made up of many different compounds, but the largest of these is methane, a compound composed of one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms.

The process of extracting natural gas involves drilling into subsurface rock formations. Modern advancements in hydraulic fracturing (colloquially known as “fracking”) have allowed us to draw upon immense volumes of subsurface natural gas.

Natural gas can be used as a clean-burning fuel to power many of the same devices and operations as oil-based petroleum and can burn with significantly higher efficiency and cleanliness.

Electricity Powered by Natural Gas

Electricity is the end product needed for our lifestyles to carry on in the way we’re used to. But what are the sources required to generate electricity?

Solar may be highlighted as the most renewable energy source of them all. Still, natural gas-powered plants can produce vast amounts of electricity with much higher output than coal-burning power plants.

Although natural gas is a hydrocarbon that produces the pollutant carbon dioxide, it outputs around 50-60% less carbon dioxide than coal and approximately 30% less carbon dioxide than oil.

Working With Today’s Materials to Build Tomorrow

Natural gas reservoirs are abundant and ready to serve our objectives in developing manageable, environmentally friendly energy technologies.

While we sculpt our plans to build a more energy-efficient future via solar and other innovative technologies, we can make intelligent use of the materials at our disposal today — resting comfortably with the knowledge that they are also serving our goals toward lowering global emissions.

Hearing global leaders and corporations carry out more serious discussions about natural gas’ role in our future’s ecosystem offers reassurance that there may indeed be a way to make a just transition between our present and future.


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