Latest posts by Eaton Miller (see all)
- Best Portable Gas Grills | Epic Barbecue Anywhere You Go - March 23, 2018
- Best Gas Grills under 1000 Dollars | The Must-See Guide for 2018 - February 10, 2018
- Best Natural Gas Grills | Your Way to Healthy Lifestyle - December 7, 2017
We can’t deny how much we LOVE grilling! In fact, according to Heart, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), 72% of adults own a grill or smoker. 62% of those who use grills use gas as fuel. You actually have 2 options to power your gas grill, either with liquid propane (LP) or natural gas. While more than half gas grill users still prefer to use propane gas, more people are switching to natural gas. After all, there are lots of benefits and advantages of natural gas you can enjoy. You don’t even have to only use it with your grills since you can also use it to fuel your other machines and appliances.
So, if you’re wondering whether you should install gas pipelines or convert to natural gas appliances, I just might help you. Read on to know the facts, uses, benefits, and advantages of natural gas to help you decide.
Fair warning, this can be quite a long, yet, fun read. All of the benefits and uses I listed here is not only for personal use, but covers pretty much everyone. So, let’s start off with some of the interesting facts on what makes up natural gas and how it works
Quick Fun Facts of Natural Gas
Where it comes from
Natural gas is a natural resource coming from fossil fuel, produced from remains of plants and animals that existed millions of years ago. The remains of these plants and animals were covered deep beneath the earth’s surface and were subjected to heat compression under the rock and soil below. Natural gas is formed when the layers of decomposing plant and animal matters are exposed to so much heat and pressure under the earth’s surface. The remains then convert into natural gas from compression force. The newly formed natural gas then migrates into a new location. And since natural gas is composed of hydrocarbons, which are lighter than water and rock, they tend to move upwards. They’ll continue to move until they reach the surface or get trapped by an impermeable layer of rock.
What is its composition
The natural gas is a hydrocarbon gas mixture primarily composed of methane. It also contains small amounts of ethane, propane, pentane, and butane. It also has 0-20% of other hydrocarbons such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen sulfide or helium.
How it works
In order to deliver natural gas for commercial and residential use, gas plants drill thousands of feet underground to extract these resources. Natural pressure would usually force the gas upward out the drill hole. But with older deposits, companies use big wells and pumps to increase pressure and forces them out onto the surface for storage. These extracted gas should first then be processed before it can be used.
Although the process involved usually varies depending on the composition of the extracted gas, the main goal is to gather all of the natural gas and reduce carbon emissions. This is achieved by separating undesirable substances such as mercury and hydrogen sulfide.
As the gas travels, it requires compressors in the mid-stream line to pressurize and to re-pressurize the natural gas in the transmission line. In the process of transmission, the higher molecular weighted natural gas hydrocarbons are removed, to produce a BRITISH THERMAL UNIT (BTU) value between 950 and 1050 BTUs.
This is now the processed natural gas which is used by residential, commercial and industrial sectors. The processed gas is delivered through gas mains buried underground passing through smaller pipes connected to your house. Those pipes are connected with meters to measure your household’s usage.
What can it be used for
Being a fossil fuel it is a good source of energy for heating, cooking, and electricity generation. We can use it as fuel or as a major component in the manufacture of plastics and other commercially important organic chemicals. Cooking and grilling are now more convenient and economical with natural gas grills.
Who can use natural gas
As the use of natural gas has become more popular, several sectors have already taken advantage of using it. And so can you! Here’s a quick look at the various sectors of the economy that are already using natural gas as a source of energy.
- The electric power sector
- The industrial sector or the manufacturers
- The commercial sector such as malls, shopping centers, hotels & other commercial establishments
- The transportation sector, be it land, sea or air
- The residential sector
Quick Timeline of Natural Gas Development
According to history, the earliest users of natural gas were the Chinese way back in 500 BCE. In the Ziliujing District of Sichuan, they used natural gas to extract the salt. Natural gas was seeped from the ground and transported through bamboo used as a crude pipeline, where the salt water was boiled.
In 1825, the world’s first industrial extraction of natural gas was in Fredonia, New York. Till then, the use of natural gas started becoming more popular.
In the 19th century, natural gas did not have much commercial value. As a by-product of petroleum, it was simply burned at the oil field in a process called flaring. As the years go by, and with the demand for natural gas grew particularly in the United States, pipelines are constructed to transport from the wells to the consumers.
In fact, come 2009, the US has become the world’s largest producer of natural gas, even surpassing Russia. However, although the US leads the production of natural gas, it’s currently placed behind Russia, Iran, Qatar, and Turkmenistan in proved reserves of natural gas.
Nevertheless, due to the success of natural gas production in the US, they have a large supply of natural gas. This in effect made its consumer prices significantly lower than other countries such as Europe and Japan. Hence, it has become an affordable great source of fuel as well.
So since 2015, natural gas has become the second largest source of energy for the US and its demand continues to increase today. While presently, North America and Europe are major users of natural gas. Others living in the northern hemisphere are also natural gas users.
Benefits and Advantages of Natural Gas
#1 – Natural Gas is a Versatile Source of Power at Home
Natural gas is not only applicable for grills. You can use it as an efficient source of energy to plenty of indoor and outdoor appliances, benefiting a lot of American households. It has many uses for your home that works as an effective solution to our various necessities such as heating water, cooling and heating homes, lighting a fire, drying clothes and cooking.
Some of the popular indoor and outdoor appliances and equipment you can use natural gas as a source of energy are as follows:
- Clothe dryers
- Fireplaces and logs
- Air Conditioning unit
- Stoves, ranges and ovens
- Drain water heat recovery
- Hot water boilers and heaters
- Gas grills
- Heaters for homes, garages, patio and even your pool
- Snow melting systems
#2 – Natural Gas offers Hassle-Free Usage
Natural gas is supplied through pipes to homes. So once it is hooked up, you can start enjoying your home appliances. You don’t have to go through the hassle of going to gas supply stores to refill as in the case of propane since this is piped into your home.
In addition, it pretty much works similarly convenient with electrically-powered appliances. But with the advantages of natural gas as a source of energy, you can still use and enjoy the comfort of your gas-powered appliances even during power outage.
There are all sorts of scenarios where you can really find natural gas-powered machines very handy! Such is the case for those who don’t want to do the tedious tasks of gathering firewood or dealing with sparks just to enjoy a nice fire. You also won’t have to worry about running out of fuel for your grill and get interrupted while cooking.
I’ve personally experienced running out of gas in the middle of grilling. Just imagine the horrors and hassles of that time! All of my family are over at my place. As I started grilling burgers, suddenly the fire went out. I really thought had spares at home, but the tanks were all out. I had to drive out few blocks to get those fuel, leaving my guests starving.
And funny thing during these circumstances, you usually find yourself unable to get things done quickly just when you’re actually in a hurry! There was light traffic and long queue before I could make my purchase. It was a huge bummer!
However, having a natural gas grill can prevent you from getting into such stressful situations.
#3 – Natural Gas has Consistent and Reliable Supply
Natural gas is not dependent on electric power. So as mentioned earlier, your natural gas-powered machines and tools will still work even when the electricity is out. The energy source has its own line connected directly to consumers’ system. And since the pipelines are buried underground, they cannot be damaged easily. Hence, you’ll have continuous power flow even in bad weather condition, in contrast to electricity or gas tanks. Because when storms come, you won’t have easy access in restocking gas tanks when they’re empty. While electric powers become prone to disruption under bad weather.
#4 – Abundant Domestic Production
With U.S. being the largest producer of natural gas, you won’t have to worry about running out of this energy anytime soon. After all, you have the guarantee of its abundant supply.
According to Potential Gas Committee, the U.S. has natural gas resources of 2,817 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) by the end of 2016. Combine that with proved gas reserves of 324 Tcf, as assessed by Energy Information Administration, will give you a total future supply of 3,141 Tcf of natural gas reserves and resources in the U.S. which is more than enough to meet America’s energy demands. Natural gas reserves stay bountiful and can last up to more than 100 years.
Furthermore, the abundance of natural gas is not just in the U.S.! Since natural gas is formed from organic matters from long ago, its supply is widely available practically anywhere! There are still a lot of fresh gas reserves in different parts of the world. This gives us an assurance that natural gas is available for many, many years to come.
But just a friendly reminder, even though there is a significant supply of natural gas, it is still a precious natural resource. We should not waste it and use it cautiously to conserve and preserve the future of our planet.
#5 – Natural Gas has an Enviable Safety Record
While it’s true that you still don’t have the full protection against the dangers from using natural gas, strict measures are taken into action to ensure your security. These safety efforts contributed to approximately 40 percent decline in pipeline incidents over the past 10 years in a 2015 study of American Gas Association.
Natural gas appliances and accessories go through lots of rigorous testing. They should pass the required high standards for safety and performance before they are sold to the market. Contractors who will install these appliances are specially trained and licensed by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA).
Since natural gas is odorless, it is vulnerable to undetectable leakage that could lead to accidents and fire. However, a small amount of odorant or stenching agent, which usually smells like rotten eggs, is added to its mixture. This ensures consumers’ safety and allows early detection of leaks. Another way to detect leakage is through hearing a hissing sound and observing discoloration of vegetation, blowing dirt or bubbling water within the buried gas line
When there’s a detection of gas leak, make sure to stop using any tools or equipment that could spark a fire. Leave the premise immediately and call your technician for its repair.
On the bright side, if natural gas accidentally did escape into the air, it typically dissipates harmlessly and faster than other gases. Hence, natural gas really does feel safer to use. It now even tops the list as one of the safest and most efficient sources of energy for power generation and heating.
#6 – Natural Gas is Nicer to the Environment
One of the strongest benefits and advantages of natural gas is having lesser harmful effects to the environment. Natural gas is the best among fossil fuels when we talk of clean burning. It emits lower carbon fuel with almost zero pollutant particles. Since the combustion process of natural gas is almost perfect, the level of pollutant byproducts disseminated to the environment is minimal. Hence, the environment is exposed to lesser toxic emissions from burning natural gas than other fuel. Furthermore, using natural gas eliminates any need for gas storage tanks. Thus, wipes out the risk of soil contamination, oil spills and unplanned and expensive contamination clean-up of the environment.
Luckily for us, with the use of natural gas gaining popularity, many grill brands such as Weber, Dyna-Glo, Napoleon and more, have started manufacturing grills fueled with it. Because of that, we now have the option to buy the best natural gas grills that can still suit everyone’s cooking needs. Each model has its own innovations to offer distinctive features from the BTU per hour produced, grilling capacity, temperature setting and control and etc. These grills allow us to still enjoy an awesome barbecue and be an advocate for the environment by using clean gas, thereby reducing pollution.
#7 – Natural Gas has Lower Toxic Emissions than Coal or Oil
Inasmuch as natural gas burns more cleanly as compared to oil and coal, it follows that it produces less carbon dioxide per unit of energy released. It approximately has 30% lower emission of carbon dioxide than burning oil and 45% lesser than burning coal. Hence, it undeniably gives off cleaner air.
It also releases lower amounts of nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and mercury as compared to coal and oil.
#8 – Natural Gas is also Less Harmful to Our Health
We already know that natural gas is clean burning, more so than other fossil fuels. It emits lower levels of harmful pollutants and greenhouse gases to the environment, more importantly, to our health. Harmful emissions such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide are present from burning coal, oil and other gases. Not to mention, burning these fuels will lead to having ashes and particulates mix into the air. And when we frequently and repetitively inhale these harmful emissions and particulates, it can be detrimental to our health. Hence, natural gas is not only environment-friendly but is also nicer to our health.
On the other hand, burned natural gas won’t be poisonous or harmful to humans whether there’s a low or high exposure to it since it’s non-toxic. And although grilling produces a lot of smoke, we are confident that its emissions are compliant with the Clean Air Act. Therefore, we are confident that even with frequent grilling, there won’t be grave negative effects to our health when we take advantage of natural gas grills. Enjoying a nice grill will never be at the expense of our health, except getting too fat from too much barbecue (lol).
#9 – Natural Gas can help improve Indoor Air Quality and Comfort
A majority of us believe that indoor air in our homes is cleaner than the outdoor air. However, it’s not entirely true. Even if we presume to keep the outdoor air from entering our home will not guarantee for indoor air to maintain clean. After all, we can also unconsciously producing pollutants inside our homes. Such cases are due to home’s structure, painting, carpet, furnishings, gas emissions and more.
Daily activities such as cooking and heating with kerosene heaters are the common producers of high levels of indoor pollutants. Luckily for us, having natural gas cooking stoves, or other natural gas appliances for that matter can help improve indoor air quality due to lesser emissions of greenhouse and harmful gases.
Nevertheless, you need a proper venting system for all fuel-burning appliances. Bringing enough outdoor air to dilute indoor pollutants and vent them out the house is an efficient way to improve indoor air quality. Another is through the use of humidifiers. Wherein natural gas humidifiers are now available to install in our homes or even commercial spaces.
Maintaining proper humidity level indoors is also important because too little or too much moisture can be harmful. In some instances, exposure to dry air increase risk to colds, viral infections and even aggravate asthma and other respiratory conditions. It can also cause adverse effects to electronic equipment and damage to some products. According to American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers or ASHRAE, the optimum standard of relative humidity level for indoor air quality is between 40% and 60%. With natural gas humidifiers, gas burners heat water into steam. The steam is then distributed throughout the surrounding area which in effect will moisturize the air.
Like the others, a natural gas humidifying system is also more expensive than electric ones. However, its operating cost is still 75% way lower which will allow you to actually save more and recover the upfront expense for less than a year. Hence, with Natural gas humidifiers, they are a cost-efficient way to improve indoor air quality while producing lesser toxic emissions when in use at the same time.
#10 – Natural Gas-Powered Engines have Longer Life
Choosing natural gas appliances has become an easy way to reduce pollution impacts to the environment without sacrificing utility, comfort and style. However, natural gas-powered units are undeniably and commonly require more expensive costs upfront. Nevertheless, you are actually saving more with them in the long run since they tend to live longer. This is still all thanks to its clean burning attribute.
Burning cleaner fuels would leave lesser soot and residues in these natural gas engines and appliances. These soot and residues from burning other fuels could contaminate the ignition procedure of the machinery and degrade its quality after each use, especially when not properly cleaned and maintained. Hence, natural gas-fueled engines and appliances can potentially have a more valuable lifespan.
Same goes for natural gas grills. Considering it burns cleanly, they don’t leave behind any unpleasant soot, ash, or odors. So, you can expect more grilling seasons from it than average grills. This is a real treat for those who are fond of cooking and grilling. You can avoid the hassle of having to look for new machines year after year. Instead, you can expect to make more memories with these machines as they’ll stay with you for long years to come.
#11 – Natural Gas provides More Savings
In support of government’s Climate Change Action Plan, the cap-and-trade program is formed to limit the allowed amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emitted from homes and businesses. This program also covers natural gases. In effect, most suppliers charge the extra costs for lowering GHG to end users, increasing the price to pay for using it. However, the cap-and-trade program also covers automotive gasoline, diesel, heavy fuel oils, petroleum and propane. Since natural gas is proven to burn cleaner, this results in lower cap-and-trade costs! So even with the added cap-and-trade cost, natural gas still has the cheapest price for energy.
And considering the law of demand and supply in our economy, the price of natural gas becomes very affordable due to its abundant supply. Especially in the U.S. where production is at large and supply is easily and readily available for distribution.
There is also little, to almost no, fluctuation in the price of natural gas. While gasoline prices are unstable and volatile. Prices are at times dictated by the world market and exposed to significant events affecting the oil-producing countries and oil price. The scarcity of gasoline supply also jacks up the price. Hence, some trucking companies have shifted from diesel to natural gas.
Despite the stable pricing and its actual low price, many people still find it difficult to switch to natural gas appliances right away. Mostly because these type of appliances tend to be more expensive than regular ones. But again, despite this costly investment upfront, the low operating cost of natural gas will let you save more in the long run. Most natural gas units cost less money to operate than electric and even propane gas appliances.
Moreover, most machines fueled with it are efficient and consumes lesser energy. For example, natural gas usually heats up faster than electricity. Thus, you get to heat water, stove or grill at lesser time and energy consumption. The same goes with using clothes dryers. Studies show that two loads of laundry in a natural gas dryer are equivalent to the cost of one load of laundry in an electric dryer. That’s about 50% savings! In the end, you save even more money and do more productive things with your time.
Having realized the potential savings you can make as one of the advantages of natural gas, it started gaining popularity and more users.
#12 – Natural Gas Requires Minimal Maintenance
Commercial businesses that use CNG engines will find its maintenance items such as spark plug replacements and valve adjustments to be more affordable than those with diesel emission controls. With soaring gas prices and the stricter environmental requirements for clean air over the next years, the maintenance cost gap for natural gas and other energy sources will surely further widen.
Regular upkeep is a must to keep all your equipment and appliances in tip-top shape. But since equipment that burns cleaner fuel will also require less maintenance and repairs over the years. You also avoid having to clean up after soot and ashes from using coal or wood to fire up your grill, furnaces or fireplace. While maintaining the gas pipelines is also a must to prevent any problems from corrosion, leakage and blocked the passageway. Keeping the portion of the pipelines connected to the house well-maintained won’t even take up too much of your time and will mostly take years for you to re-apply the upkeep.
I have here some tips on maintaining your portion of gas pipelines. If you have any portion of gas piping exposed to outdoor elements, make sure to coat the exposed area with a paint. This helps prevent corrosion, while the coat will take years before it needs another repainting job. You should also keep the connection and appliances’ air intake and exhaust vents clear. This will prevent blockage in the ventilation or exhaustion of gas combustion that could interrupt gas supply. Lastly, periodically schedule a certified professional to inspect the pipes and appliances to ensure safety and immediately repair any unsafe conditions.
#13 – Natural Gas Increases Resale Value of Your Home
One criterion for prospective house owners is the availability of power sources. With the gaining popularity of natural gas, the demand for houses with natural gas connection also increases.
Hence, having a house that is already ready for natural gas usage makes it more attractive and more useful in the eyes of prospective buyers. They don’t have to go through the hassle of coordinating to a gas supplier to install pipelines. And once the pipeline is already installed in your house, it already becomes a lot easier to buy and use natural gas-powered appliances.
#14 – Natural Gas generates Clean Power for Electric Utilities
The electric industry largely uses coal to generate electricity supplied to our homes. As a result, electric utilities release one of the highest carbon footprints to the environment and the most polluting sector in the United States. Luckily, the availability of natural gas makes it a great alternative source of power for electric generators too. Allowing large electric power plants to switch to using natural gas while still being an affordable cost of fuel for clean generation of electricity and lessening environmental damage.
In April 2015, electricity is said to have surpassed coal in producing 31% of nation’s electricity over coal’s 30%. Electricity is generated through the use of gas and steam turbines. Since natural gas burns cleaner than oil and coal, it produces less carbon dioxide per unit of energy released. It emits 30% lesser carbon dioxide than burning oil and 45% lesser than burning coal. It also releases lower amounts of nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and mercury. These allow electric utilities to also benefit from the advantages of natural gas while reducing environmental damage in producing electricity to supply for our homes.
#15 – Natural Gas has lots of Industrial Use
Natural gas is not only exclusive for residential and commercial use. It also has a multitude use for the industrial sector. Cost efficiency is one of the advantages of natural gas for industries. And since you can already use natural gas to provide electricity, some industries use it to run their factories instead of buying it outside for an additional expense.
Industrial sector mostly use natural gas as a fuel for heating processes and combining heat and power systems. Heating processes may involve firing boilers, heating metals, baking and drying commodities to produce products such as steel, paper, glass and food. Aside from using natural gas for actual operations, natural gas also has the base ingredients for varied products like fertilizer, anti-freeze agents, plastics, pharmaceuticals and fabrics. Natural gas can also produce a wide range of chemicals such as ammonia, methanol, butane, ethane, propane, and acetic acid.
Natural gas has a multitude use for industries that it continues to gain popularity and increase in usage. In U.S. alone, the industrial sector already covers more than 30% of total U.S. energy consumption in 2011. While common industrial operations that use natural gas are glass and steel foundries, aluminum and nickel smelters, cement, bricks, ceramics, tiles, paper and food product manufacturing.
#16 – Natural Gas has Methane to Produce Hydrogen
Natural gas has methane component that can produce hydrogen through steam reforming process. Methane source goes through high-temperature steam of about 700°C to 1000°C to produce hydrogen.
However, to be honest, natural gas is not entirely the best option to use in producing hydrogen. Because in the process of producing hydrogen, carbon dioxide also becomes a by-product of natural gas. They can escape to the atmosphere as a global warming gas.
While you can also use other fuels such as ethanol, propane, or even gasoline to produce hydrogen, natural gas still has lower emissions. And it is still by far the cheapest fossil fuel source for producing hydrogen. As a result, natural gas continues to become a popular choice that it now makes up 95% of the hydrogen production in the United States.
So why does it even matter if natural gas can produce hydrogen? Let’s just say that being able to abundantly produce hydrogen, at an affordable price even, gives us easier and cheaper access to all uses and applications of hydrogen as well. You can use hydrogen for refining petroleum, treating metals, producing electricity, manufacturing fertilizer, processing foods and even fuel rocket ships!
#17 – Natural Gas can make Fertilizers that leads to Positive Impacts
There’s been growing demands for fertilizers and natural gas seems to fit in the equation. Since we already know that natural gas can produce hydrogen, which we use to manufacture fertilizers. Hence, fertilizer plants use natural gas more than just a fuel, but also as the main ingredient in making ammonia-based fertilizers.
Ammonia is the major component for the production of nitrogen fertilizers. Ammonia production involves a combination of 82% nitrogen and 18% hydrogen. Wherein nitrogen (N2) comes from the air and the hydrogen (H) comes from natural gas. Initially, water is the main source for hydrogen. But the energy-intensive electrolysis process used to make ammonia from water is expensive.
So ammonia plants have shifted to a cheaper source, the use of natural gas. More so, a large portion of the energy required to combine nitrogen gas and hydrogen comes from natural gas.
Now, natural gas accounts for 72 to 85 percent of the cost of producing ammonia. Ammonia prices have been closely correlated with natural gas prices, especially since 2000. And since U.S. has a domestic production for natural gas, it’s cheaper for plants to produce nitrogen fertilizers locally.
In effect, producers of nitrogen fertilizers will have a competitive price to offer locally and potentially capture a market share in global trading. This will also put pressure on import prices for fertilizers to decrease. Lower fertilizer prices will then greatly benefit the agriculture sector and in turn, can also lower food prices to consumers due to reduced costs of inputs. Overall, there will be positive impacts on the American agriculture and economy.
#18 – Natural Gas is a Clean Fuel for Vehicles
Natural gas is not just a fixed source of energy connected to homes, factories and such. Transportation sector can also take advantage of its benefits.
Cities, roads and streets are now overpopulated with moving vehicles. In each moving car is burning gas that produces air pollution. With so many vehicles traveling today, just imagine how much pollutants and emissions are being released into the environment, which by the way, also end up in our lungs!
Obviously, there’s no way for us to stop using cars altogether. But, we can minimize these emissions since natural gas can now also power vehicles. In fact, the emissions from these vehicles are five times less harmful than cars equipped with gasoline engines.
Since natural gas has simpler molecular structure, they burn more completely in an engine. There’ll be less carbon monoxide, soot, and unburned hydrocarbons coming out from the tailpipe. California Air Resources Board (CARB) also concluded that there are 20-29% less greenhouse gas emissions than its gasoline and diesel counterparts.
The methane component of natural gas can usually work as the fuel for natural gas vehicles. In order to do that, methane is pressurized to produce compressed natural gas (CNG). You can also use liquefied natural gas (LNG), which is better for long-distance travel because its liquid form is denser which allows better storage.
While the driving range for natural gas vehicles is lesser due to car’s lower storage capacity, your car’s horsepower, acceleration and speed stay the same. It will still run very much like the conventional cars we’re more familiar with. On the other hand, it’s better at keeping your car in good condition.
Clean air is not only good for us but also essential to your car engine’s longevity. Methane engines tend to live longer since they burn cleaner than gasoline or diesel. They eliminate soot and are almost incapable of forming smog. This in turn can prevent soot build-up and mixing sediments in the fuel system while burning.
Natural gas vehicles allow you to also still enjoy the price advantage of its fuel and consumption efficiency. While producing better air quality is the most solid reason for transportation sector to shift to this trend.
#19 – Natural Gas minimizes Foreign Dependency
Natural gas can help reduce dependency on foreign imports because, as discussed earlier, it provides a reliable alternative for fuel instead of coals, oil and electricity. As well as a flexible ingredient in the production of our essentials such as fertilizers and diesel.
Although natural gas won’t decrease our foreign dependency by a large margin, it’s evidently declining each year. In fact, in 2010, our dependency on oil was already less than 50% of the oil our nation consumed and the downward trend seems to continue over the next years.
Having a more stable country, boosting economic growth, lower fuel costs and oil supplies remain available are just some of things we can achieve when foreign dependency decreases. And natural gas is playing a small part to do that.
#20 – Natural Gas helps the Economy Grow
The advent of technology has unlocked the presence of natural gas in the U.S. to fuel the nation for generations. The use of natural gas reduces our dependence on foreign supplies and at the same time create job opportunities in this field. Increasing demand for this resource will also require more manpower, which means more job positions to fill. Having more job opportunities will provide people to generate income. More income will lead to higher spending. And higher consumption will mean growth for the economy.
While the demand for natural gas is increasing in the US, a bulk of its production also comes from the USA. Thus, natural gas definitely paves the way in creating more American jobs. Which in turn will eventually help grow the U.S. economy further! We can expect this to continue positively. After all, about 85% of natural gas consumed from all other parts of the world actually comes from U.S. as well. So, the demand for the US to provide natural fuel and in turn create more jobs to sustain production will very unlikely to decrease.
#21 – Natural Gas provides Precision in the Cooking
One of the most important and popular uses of natural gas is in cooking. Even professional cooks highly recommend it as fuel. And that’s not just due to its cheaper price, but for its precision in cooking and baking.
Natural gas provides even heat, instant on and off settings and outstanding temperature control for that cooking precision of every dish. It can even generate temperatures over 2000OC for your cooking needs. Nothing can also be more precise in cooking when you know you won’t encounter any interruptions while in the middle of your cooking. Since there are dishes that are time and heat sensitive, that stopping halfway in your cooking could ruin their texture and taste.
An additional benefit of natural gas in the kitchen is its efficiency. It enables energy and dollar savings, as compared to using electric cooktops and ovens. The BTU output of the grills also enables them to heat up quickly, control cooking temperature and faster cooling.
You can no doubt achieve those deep sears, savory taste and beautiful marks with your best natural gas grills. Grilling becomes much more fun and satisfying.
#22 – Natural Gas is Energy Efficient
Natural gas appliances like gas dryers and water heaters use lesser energy. They can also get hotter and heat up twice as fast than electric appliances. Due to its efficiency, you get to save more money aside from its actual lower fuel cost. According to DOE, you can save up to $1,200 on space heating and more than $250 on water heating costs annually with natural gas appliances.
The process of delivering this energy to us, consumers, is also less wasteful. Because 90% of natural gas that goes through the pipeline actually reaches our home. In that process, it only loses 10% of the energy. As for the electricity, only 30% of its supply actually reaches the consumer, and loses 70% during transmission and distribution. Hence, we are already able to conserve our natural resources better even before we get to use it.
#23 – Natural Gas is the Energy for the Future
Natural gas is a boon to the nation that we continue to find more ways to use it. Various sectors are already using it from transportation, industrial, commercial, power generation and to residential. These are all thanks to its versatility, cost savings, reliability and efficiency.
Gas companies are discovering methods of transporting cheap liquid natural gas, and eventually to reach new markets without those expensive pipelines.
There is a growing number of vehicles using compressed natural gas as vehicle fuel. Scientists are working on ways to extract the potentially vast amounts of natural gas reserves trapped beneath the ocean in gas hydrates.
Being cost-efficient and a clean alternative fuel for many, only time will tell when you start seeing natural gas spaceships and rockets blasting off! After all, methane engines for rockets are now in the works and being tested.
Using methane engines can also reduce costs of each science mission. Because we can harvest methane, which is the main component of natural gas, from other planets like Mars and moons. This will open more opportunities for tapping more resources and further exploring the space and universe.
Natural gas has vast potential and resources waiting to be explored. Technological breakthroughs are the keys for tapping its potential.
And as we continue to discover more of its uses due to its great potential, the demand for this resource grows. Nevertheless, those growing demands are sustainable with its large supply and still plenty of untapped gas reserves.
This energy is very useful and won’t run out anytime soon. Hence, it is not a remote possibility that it will be the energy for the future.
#24 – Natural Gas can Beautify You without Turning the Environment Uglier
Let me just first say that natural gas doesn’t literally can make you more beautiful. Not as if you ever need more beautifying, eh (*wink, *wink). Creepy jokes aside, natural gas certainly does have components in making cosmetics and personal care products that answer to our vanity!
Although some of the chemicals that go into these products can be quite toxic, we simply can’t help but still use them. We like to look good in front of people. And I’m no exception since I’m probably just as vain as my partner. But she still definitely takes a lot longer to prepare for our night out (lol).
Anyway, while natural gas isn’t entirely harmless to the environment, to say the least. Natural gas has small components of Butane, Isobutane and Propane. They are better replacements for chlorofluorocarbons or CFC propellants that have adverse effects on the environment. These ingredients are great alternatives to keeping the ozone layer safe.
And since these gases are volatile, they quickly vaporize. They barely make contact with the skin for no longer than 10 seconds. Hence, they tend to cause lesser skin problems. And it has a low potential to cause fire as they don’t stay long in the air to accumulate.
On a fair note though, there are still hazards and health risks to be wary of. Not to mention, isobutane has allergens. So, I advise proper caution when using cosmetic products with these ingredients. Do a little quick test first with your compatibility with them. Finally, make sure to use them in a well-ventilated room and avoid breathing its vapors directly. Nevertheless, they don’t pose lasting health problems.
These natural gas components have foaming agents and solvent properties. So, you’ll usually find these ingredients in shaving creams, mousses, cleansing products, hair conditioners, cosmetics and aerosol hairsprays.
#25 – Using Natural Gas Lets You Feel Good
Okay, so this may sound more like a bonus. But seriously, with so many benefits and advantages of natural gas, simply using it will definitely make you feel good. No BS. You can think of various scenarios of using it and you’ll find yourself satisfied and happy with the experience.
For one, you get to avoid feeling stressed out from running out of fuel while in the middle of cooking. Another example is being able to grill all you want and know that the fuel you use is better for the environment, which is already rewarding in itself. And if you’re all about being thrifty, natural gas is still your answer due to its lower price and usage efficiency.
Anything beneficial to us, whether it is natural gas or not, will always have positive effects on us mentally and emotionally. So it’s no surprise to feel happy and proud whenever you use it.
Natural gas has so many benefits and uses. It’s not just strictly for powering machines and engines but also has useful ingredients to create more other helpful stuff.
However, natural gas is not always rainbows and butterflies. Natural gas still presents risk and disadvantages that we should also be aware of. It’s not entirely the safest and purely harmless for the environment.
Thus, we still have to be extra careful in handling how we use natural gas. Not only individually but also for manufacturers that use it for big productions and for their operations. Everyone shouldn’t also be wasteful of this resource. Nevertheless, it suffices to say that the uses, benefits and advantages of natural gas definitely outweigh the bad.
And before you know it, the wonders of natural gas is already part of our daily lives. From eating, cooking, using gadgets and equipment, one way or another, natural gas is used in the process. I, on the other hand, personally like to use it for cooking.
And since we’re speaking of cooking, my fitting equipment for this is of course – a grill! And we’re now lucky enough that we get to enjoy the benefits and advantages of natural gas in grilling.
Natural gas grills tend to be more expensive than its Liquid propane counterparts. Yet most of the time, the difference in price isn’t too big. And while there’s a little more upfront expense, every usage allows me to save more. The fuel itself is cheaper and consumption is more efficient. Every savings I make, I can allow a little more extra for more meat and booze!
Just a quick note though, I have a sister who already has her own children. I’m proud to say, her children really love me, partly because they see me as their playmate. I a kid at heart after all. When I ask them to come over for a barbecue, my nephew & niece would always like to come close and see me grill. Because of that, they’re unknowingly exposing themselves to toxic emissions from burning gas. Obviously, having the best natural gas grill around helps a lot in this situation.
Since these grills emit 60-90% less smog-producing pollutants, there’s less exposure to toxic emissions. I can also manage to cook quite healthier foods due to less harmful particles that will coat the food from burning coals.
Here are just some of the plenty benefits natural gas can offer you. It also becomes easier to add more natural gas appliances once you install the gas pipelines in your home. So for those who have not yet owned one, it is still not too late. There’s so much potential with natural gas. It is by far the best choice among the fossil fuel energy sources from all aspects.
How about you, guys? How do you feel about using natural gas as your main source of fuel for your daily routines? I’d love to hear them out!
Other Helpful Sources: