There are several pros and cons of natural gas. When both sides are analyzed, scientists can make a true scientific assessment of an energy source’s potential can be made.
The fuel is formed from organic materials that have aged deep beneath the earth’s surface for millions of years.
Natural gas is one of the top three fossil fuel energy sources in use today. The gas has various essential functions, such as heating and energy creation.
Natural gas is one of the most frequently used fossil fuels today, and it is also one of the most readily available for purchase worldwide.
When comparing natural gas to other fuels today, emissions are reduced by up to 45%.
Natural gas is colorless and odorless, has a high concentration of methane, and contains only a small number of other hydrocarbons.
In years, there has been a greater push to deviate away from coal and gas as a source of heat and electricity due to their high pollution output.
Pros of Natural Gas
1. Generally Safe
Natural gas can be kept in various ways, including underground or liquid, in tanks above ground level. Natural gas is much safer and easier to store than other fossil fuels.
It is at the top of the list of the most effective energy sources for producing heat and power.
Natural gas consumption has not resulted in many fatalities despite a few incidences over time.
Electricity is fantastic until a storm arrives. It likely gets damaged during a storm, and our electrical equipment might break down. Natural gas cannot lead to a similar issue.
In addition to being able to power vehicles and provide energy, natural gas is a dependable alternative to other fossil fuels.
Natural gas is controlled and predictable. Natural gas will continue to burn as long as the source permits it.
Unlike other fossil fuels, natural gas won’t abruptly disappear while being burned, which is a common issue for users.
3. Not Influenced by the Weather
Energy from coal and wood has disadvantages. Both emit significantly more dangerous carbon dioxide emissions than natural gas and cannot withstand damp conditions for long periods.
Natural gas will continue to generate heat regardless of the weather, and this is due to compressed gas.
4. An Abundant Source of Energy
Natural gas is a limited resource that needs to be preserved to be a practical power source, just like oil and coal.
Many locations are just waiting to be found in the upcoming years. It is plentiful and widely accessible.
Despite the fact that natural gas is a finite resource, there is still much of it available, and it could be years or even centuries before it runs out completely.
5. Cleaner Compared to Fossil Fuels
Natural gas will glow blue when burned under ideal combustion conditions and produce little to no hazardous chemicals.
This property earned its place among the pros and cons of natural gas due to its importance.
Natural gas is fostered as a “bridge” fuel to support a developing renewable energy economy, supplanting intermittent solar and wind power because it is relatively clean compared to other fossil fuels.
Since natural gas combustion is nearly perfect, it releases only a few by-products into the environment.
It is a desirable power source for established and developing economies due to its minimal carbon emissions.
6. It Has Several Uses
Natural gas can be used to meet several of our energy needs at once and is not just a one-time purchase.
Because of this, natural gas is widely used to power the world’s businesses and is extremely popular in households.
Gas can heat a room or run tiny engines in addition to cooking food.
High-pressure gas tanks are used in CNG vehicles or compressed natural gas vehicles to supply enough power to keep the engine running.
Without consuming enormous amounts of gasoline, CNG vehicles are able to produce a sizable quantity of electricity. Natural gas byproducts can also be used to make fertilizer.
As a result, natural gas may also be very useful for agriculture, even though excessive use of fertilizers is not recommended.
Excessive use might lead to soil and groundwater pollution.
7. Affordable Compared to Other Fossil Fuels
The cost will undoubtedly be one of natural gas’ top three benefits when someone asks what they are.
Coal costs increase almost every year. Demand increases, but only so much coal globally can barely meet this expanding demand.
Since gas-powered engines make up most of all engines in use today, changing or replacing them would be extremely expensive.
It is the most frequently used fuel in households for cooking and heating. Natural gas is becoming even more affordable thanks to technology.
Cons of Natural Gas
1. Greenhouse Gas Emission and Ozone Depletion
The pros and cons of natural gas won’t be complete without its greenhouse effect on the environment.
If natural gas is burned improperly, it adds to greenhouse emissions.
Over 60% of all methane emissions worldwide are caused by human activity; of that total, 33% are caused by emissions from the natural gas and petroleum industries.
Because it adds to pollution, natural gas usage should be cautious.
Since natural gas usage as a primary energy source contributes to ozone depletion, we as a global society should reduce it to slow the rise in atmospheric temperature.
The ozone layer is subsequently destroyed as a result of gas flare-ups. Serious health problems may arise if this layer is exhausted.
2. Natural Gas is Non-renewable
It is impossible to determine the true reliability of natural gas. Some experts believe it to be a non-renewable energy source.
It is not a sustainable source of power and does not offer a solution to the world’s mounting energy crisis issues.
Although significant natural gas finds have been reported over the previous few years, they will eventually run out.
Fortunately, nations around the world have made notable efforts to make the shift to renewable energy sources.
3. Biodiversity Loss
Water in vast quantities is necessary for the fracturing of wells.
Significant water use for fracking in some regions of the nation may impact aquatic habitats and water availability for other uses.
Natural gas extraction involves a major loss of habitats, as does human activity’s destruction of natural ecosystems.
In addition, as many organisms lose their native habitats, they might become extinct or endangered.
A survey has shown that hydraulic fracturing causes minute earthquakes, which are said to be negligible.
Fracking involves injecting a solution of water, sand, and chemicals under high pressure into a well to fracture rock thousands of feet below the surface and release the gas that has been trapped there.
The gas then rises to the surface and emerges from a well’s head. Fracking fluids and formation waters are returned to the surface in addition to natural gas.
These wastewaters are commonly injected into deep wells for disposal.
It is possible for earthquakes to be felt and to cause damage if wastewater is injected into the subsurface.
5. High Cost of Pipeline Construction
Natural gas requires extensive infrastructure because it requires long pipes, specialized tanks, and different plumbing systems.
Transmission and transportation across long distances are more expensive. Leaking pipe repairs raise operating costs.
6. Expensive Initial Costs of Production
Before commercial and residential use, there is a long and costly process.
It is mixed with a product called crude oil, forming by-products such as propane, ethane, and butane.
The extracted by-products can be utilized in other ways, and natural gas is virtually ready for everyday use.
However, natural gas is a colorless and odorless hydrocarbon. It will be perfumed to make gas leaks obvious, preventing accidents.
The natural gas then changes composition, and this is how it gets to end customers—the complexity and expense of producing natural gas increase due to this process.
It is a volatile substance that can explode. Consumers must handle natural gas with extreme caution to ensure that natural gas functions properly; a gas leak meter is a crucial accessory.
Extremely combustible, natural gas can cause disastrous explosions if handled improperly. Because of this, people are reluctant to use it in automobiles.
Natural gas leaks are extremely difficult to find because they have no smell and are colorless.
There are a lot of pros and cons of using natural gas. For every advantage of natural gas, there is a disadvantage that counters it.
It is a solid contender for a transition fuel because of its large energy capacity, simplicity of transportation, and minimal carbon dioxide emissions.
Natural gas is the ideal energy source if we want something affordable and dependable.
But in the long run, there are better options than natural gas if we want to employ a renewable energy source that will never run out.
Natural gas will undoubtedly play a significant part in the global transition to a low-carbon future, notwithstanding the ongoing discussion regarding its potential as a bridge fuel.