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Natural gas

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The Door to Hell, a natural gas field in Turkmenistan. It is a natural gas firing which has been burning continuously since 1971, fed by the rich natural gas deposits in the area.

Natural gas is a mixture. It consists mainly of hydrocarbons. The main component is methane. Natural gas is often found in the ground together with petroleum. Landfills and natural processes produce a little methane.

Most natural gas is burnt as a fuel to produce energy. It burns with a clean blue flame. It causes little pollution.

Natural gas is burned to produce electricity and to cook and heat buildings. It is also used as fuel for natural gas vehicles for transport. When natural gas is burned in a power station it boils water into steam that spins a steam turbine that turns a generator to make electricity. Some power stations use natural gas in a gas turbine.

Natural gas is also converted into many different industrial chemicals. It is the most common feedstock for making pure hydrogen. Hydrogen is used as fuel in fuel cells, and to make ammonia. Ammonia is used as a fuel, as a fertilizer for crops, and for making many other things. Natural gas is also converted into monomers to make many plastic products.

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