Natural gas is a fossil fuel that is formed by plants and animals being buried under several layers and are exposed to large amounts of pressure and heat for several thousand years. Natural gas is found under layers of rock and must be extracted using specialized tools. This is a nonrenewable resource. It cannot be easily replenished since it takes thousands of years to create.
The main advantages and disadvantages of natural gas is described below.
Advantages of Natural Gas
There are many advantages of natural gas, especially as an energy source. Of all the advantages of natural gas, they all have to do with three main categories. It is environmentally clean. It is efficient and economical. It is very safe to use. Below is a comprehensive list of natural gas advantages.
- Natural gas is considered to be the cleanest burning fossil fuel on the market.
- There is no residue such as ash, soot or even odor.
- Underground storage tanks are not needed for natural gas. Above ground tanks are also no longer needed.
- It is not poisonous to humans in small amounts.
- Natural gas is in abundance right now. There have been numerous amounts extracted from the Earth’s surface.
- Natural gas is brought into the facility through pipelines and is very reliable.
Disadvantages of Natural Gas
Although natural gas has numerous advantages, it also has several disadvantages. Natural gas is a highly volatile fossil fuel and does require special handling. It is also somewhat difficult to mine for natural gas as it is buried in layers of rock and soil. Here are some of the biggest disadvantages of natural gas.
- Natural gas is not renewable and once it is all used, there will not be any more for thousands of years.
- The extraction of natural gas is leaving large holes or crates in the Earth’s surface and requires special equipment and workers to extract.
- It is very flammable and if not handled correctly can be dangerous.
- Since it is odorless, generally a carbon monoxide substance is added to the pipes carrying the natural gas. When leaks occur, it can be harmful because of the carbon monoxide added. Many natural gas deaths have been a direct result of the carbon monoxide substance added to it.
- The costs of designing and constructing the pipelines to carry the natural gas is high as is the cost of maintaining the pipelines.
- Is not a primary source of fuel for vehicles because of it is highly flammable.
- Natural gas is not a popular energy source. It is expected to grow in popularity but the growth rate is slow.