We use natural gas in various applications: heating our homes, cooking on gas stoves, drying clothes, and fueling vehicles. But what do we really know about the little blue flame on our pilot lights and stovetops?
These are some interesting facts about natural gas you should know!
A cleaner alternative to oil and coal, natural gas has been used for centuries all over the world.
- In 500 BC, China formed the first pipeline made from bamboo. They discovered spots where natural gas seeped to the surface, transported it to their villages with the bamboo pipelines, and used it to boil seawater.
- Native Americans lit natural gas forming in and around Lake Erie.
- The famous artist Rembrandt Peale formed the first natural gas utility after using it as a light source for his art gallery in the early 1800s.
- The American gas industry began in full force in the late 1800s.
Did you know that the natural gas pulled out of the Earth today was formed 100 million years ago? There are other chemical components you may not be aware of, such as:
- The chemical property of natural gas is mainly methane, but it also consists of ethane, butane, propane, and naphtha.
- It is naturally odorless, but natural gas companies add mercaptan, which gives off a rotten egg smell, to help people detect leaks.
- Natural gas can be wet or dry. Dry gas is what we commonly use and is mainly methane, while wet gas has more ethane and butane, which are liquid gases.
Tens of thousands of pipelines supply natural gas to consumers with natural gas flow meters installed periodically to monitor leaks. But natural gas isn't only used for heating our homes; it has all kinds of different applications, including:
- Millions of vehicles use natural gas as fuel, including buses, trucks, and even taxis.
- Natural gas creates many different products, such as flooring, piping, and even artificial limbs.
- It can also be used to produce electricity and is a cleaner option than coal.
Many people didn't know the applications and history of this clean energy source. Knowing these interesting facts about natural gas you should know can help you make more eco-friendly choices around your home!