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Natural Gas Facts

The properties of Natural Gas actually combine to make it the safe, clean and environmentally friendly energy choice for the 21st Century.

Natural Gas is…

  • A naturally occurring mixture of several light hydrocarbons and other gases. The primary ingredient in Natural Gas is methane, composed of one part carbon and four parts hydrogen (CH4).
  • Lighter than air and non-corrosive.
  • Odorless and colorless in its natural state. So, for safety reasons, an odor that smells like rotten eggs is added to Natural Gas so that you can smell it, allowing leaks to be located and repaired.
  • Gaseous at any temperature over -260 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Non-toxic and contains no poisonous ingredients, though in large quantities in enclosed spaces it can displace oxygen.
  • Clean burning: methane burns easily and leaves few pollutants. When natural gas is burned properly, by-products of combustion are primarily carbon dioxide and water vapor. Because methane contains only one carbon atom, natural gas produces less carbon dioxide than any other fossil fuel, and fewer other pollutants as well.
  • Safer to handle than most fuels. Natural Gas by itself will not burn. Combustion can occur only when there is a proper mixture of gas and air; a flammability range comprised of approximately 5 to 15 percent natural gas, and between 95 to 85 percent air. Even with the proper mixture it requires a high ignition temperature of approximately 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • A strong greenhouse gas, so burning it and producing carbon dioxide is actually preferable to allowing it to release into the atmosphere.

All of these factors combine to help make Natural Gas the safest energy source available. Understanding and following proper safety practices help make it even safer.