Science Behind Why Natural Gas is a Cleaner Fuel

Sep 25, 2020 | Natural Gas Facts

Paper straws and natural gas fuel have more in common than you might think. Besides the fact that they’re both involved in providing energy, one for humans in the form of a drink and the other for equipment by way of a fuel tank, they’re also both designed to be environmentally friendly. Learn how natural gas is known as one of the cleanest fossil fuels in the world.

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Technically, any fuel that emits fewer greenhouse gases than gasoline or diesel can be considered a clean fuel. Commonly known as the ‘greenhouse effect’, these gases appear when fuels are burned and can contribute to global warming. Due to the barrier that greenhouse gases create between the Earth’s atmosphere and space, air quality can be quickly diminished. Having a fuel that eliminates the chance of these gases building up is of utmost importance, especially in industrial environments.

Burning Properties of Natural Gas

One of the largest reasons why natural gas fuel is considered a clean fuel is because of the way it burns, especially when compared to other fossil fuels. Simply put, natural gas is composed primarily of methane, a compound with one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms (CH4). When burned, methane produces both carbon dioxide and water vapor into the atmosphere. These are the same chemical compounds we exhale when we breathe.

While healthy emissions of carbon dioxide contribute to a healthy plant and animal life, too much carbon dioxide can trap heat close to Earth’s surface, causing atmosphere temperatures to increase. This is why the clean-burning properties of natural gas are so advantageous. While higher carbon emissions of petroleum or gasoline tend to build up in the outer atmosphere, the low carbon content allows natural gas to quickly evaporate.

Natural Gas vs Petroleum-Based Fuels

Compared to petroleum-based fuels such as conventional gasoline or diesel, natural gas remains a top choice for industries that are looking to have an eco-friendly fuel economy. Due to its gaseous qualities, natural gas will quickly dissipate during a leak or spill. In a similar situation, gasoline or diesel will settle on the ground and seep into nearby water sources, causing both wildlife and plants to suffer from contamination. Whether you’re concerned about your environment or overall cost-effectiveness, natural gas is designed to be the solution you need to keep you powered long term.

Pro Tip: Combat global warming and reduce the chances of air pollution by transforming your vehicles and equipment to be powered with natural gas.

Specially-Designed Fuel Systems

Natural gas can be distributed in two different ways: liquidated or compressed. While both offer the same clean advantages of natural gas, it’s important to understand each fuel system and its application uses.

  • Compressed natural gas (CNG) –   As its name implies, CNG is created through a process that compresses natural gas (methane) down to less than 1% of its volume. CNG is stored and transported in hard spherical containers that are sealed to maintain optimal atmospheric pressure levels. From maintaining pipeline utility services to fueling high horsepower engines, CNG is a solid solution for a number of industrial applications.
  • Liquefied natural gas (LNG) – Distributed in a liquid form, LNG is a purified form of natural gas that has been cooled down to remove extra compounds from its organic form. To maintain its integrity, it must be kept at -260 degrees Fahrenheit when being transported or stored. Because LNG is a liquid, it has an increased energy density and is able to power heavy-duty equipment.

Environmentally-Friendly Solutions for You

Protecting the environment should affect every decision you make in your business. Whether you need an alternative fuel for your fleet or reliable portable power energy to run your facility, our natural gas solutions will keep you running long term. No matter where you’re located in the United States, our team is committed to helping you choose whether CNG or LNG is the best choice or your environment.

Contact our team for more information regarding our transportation fuel and energy solutions designed to work with your environment.