Natural gas is a fossil fuel found in marine and terrestrial sedimentary basins associated or not with petroleum. It consists of a mixture of light hydrocarbons , predominantly methane , and remains in the gaseous state under normal conditions of temperature and ambient pressure.
This gas can undergo thermodynamic treatments to become liquid and thus is called liquefied natural gas (LNG) and is more easily transported. It is one of the most important energy sources in the world, behind only oil and coal.
It represents a great fuel with diverse applications in automobiles and residences, trades and industries, to provide electricity and heat . It is also used as raw material in the petrochemical industry (plastics, paints, synthetic fibers and rubber) and fertilizers (transformed into urea, ammonia and derivatives). In electric power generation, it has been widely used in thermoelectric and in industries.
it has some environmental advantages as an energy source compared to other fossil fuels (coal and petroleum products), namely:
- has fewer contaminants than other energy sources, such as diesel fuel that produces emissions of sulfur oxide, soot and particulate matter;
- produces cleaner combustion with less CO 2 emissions per unit of energy generated (about 20 to 23% less than fuel oil and 40 to 50% less than coal);
- contributes to reducing deforestation by replacing firewood;
- greater ease of transportation and handling, compared to LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), which requires great infrastructure;
- does not require storage, eliminating the risks of fuel storage;
- provides greater safety in case of leakage, because it is lighter than air and dissipates quickly through the atmosphere, favoring domestic use.
ADVANTAGES FOR THE CONSUMER
The benefits of natural gas to consumers are several. In industrial and commercial activity the following are highlighted:
- It is economical, reduced cost compared to other fuel;
- Its burning generates a great amount of energy;
- Provides higher firing efficiency;
- Its combustion is easily adjustable;
- It admits great variation of the flow;
- Saves steam or electricity for heating – no atomization required;
- It requires easy adaptation of existing installations;
- It requires less investment in storage / use of space because it does not need storage;
- Provided continuously 24h / day – 365 days / year;
- Simplifies controls;
- Provides lower cost of maintenance, fuel handling and other operating costs;
- Prolongs the life of the equipment;
- Reduces corrosion and does not cause incrustation in equipment;
- Raises the level of personal and property security reducing insurance costs;
- It provides economic and financial gains as it does not require inventory and its payment occurs after consumption;
- Reduces pollution problems and control of the environment avoiding expenses with anti-pollution systems and treatment of tributaries;
- It improves productivity and quality in various production processes, increasing the external competitiveness of products;
- Provides greater security. Being lighter than air, in the event of a leak, the gas dissipates quickly into the atmosphere, reducing the risk of explosions and fires. In addition, for the natural gas to ignite, it must be subjected to a temperature above 620 degrees centigrade (alcohol ignites at 200ºC and gasoline at 300ºC).
ADVANTAGES IN COMMERCE, SERVICES AND RESIDENTIAL GAS
- More economical;
- Provides greater comfort and convenience: replaces fuel gas bottles and tanks;
- Continuous supply, 24h / day – 365 days / year;
- Wide variety of applications. In addition to the use as fuel and can also be used in refrigeration environments, air conditioners and refrigerators gas, oxy-cutting and motors;
- It provides greater safety: it does not require storage and in case of a possible leak, natural gas is lighter than air, it dissipates more easily than LPG;
- It is not toxic;
- It increases the quality of life.
ADVANTAGES IN ELECTRIC POWER GENERATION
- Greater flexibility;
- Generation of electric energy next to the centers of consumption;
- Wide availability;
- Very competitive cost with other fuel alternatives;
- It allows the emergence of interruptible gas market.
ADVANTAGES FOR POPULATION AND SOCIETY
- Generation of energy through a form of energy that is more economical and clean compared to other fuels;
- Regional development;
- Greater environmental protection: Natural Gas is the cleanest fossil fuel;
- Significantly reduces the emission of pollutants;
- It contributes to the preservation of nature and the environment;
- Replaces firewood by reducing deforestation and desertification;
- Improvement of energy efficiency;
- Diversification of the energy matrix;
- Reduction of dependence on oil through the use of regional energy sources;
- Increasing the competitiveness of companies;
- Attraction of external investments;
- Reduction of the use of road-rail-water transport;
- It provides the advantages offered by the Kyoto Protocol.
ADVANTAGES AS VEHICLE FUEL
- It is cheaper than other fuels and with a cubic meter of natural gas it is possible to run more kilometers than with a liter of gasoline or alcohol;
- Being dry does not dilute the lubricating oil in the engine;
- Burning the natural gas does not cause carbon deposits in the internal parts of the engine, increasing its engine life and oil change interval;
- Less frequency in the exhaust exchange of the vehicles because the burning of the natural gas does not cause formation of sulfur compounds;
- Greater security. The supply of the vehicle is done without the product coming into contact with the air, thus avoiding any possibility of combustion;
- Greater versatility: the conversion kit makes the vehicles bi-fuel;
- Increasing number of CNG stations.