Natural Gas and Its use as a Alternative Fuel Compared to Gasoline
Have you ever confused the terms “Natural Gas” and “Gasoline”? Well don’t, because
they are two very different types of gases. Natural gas and Gasoline are considered fossil fuels
to most scientists because it is believed they were formed from the remains of sea animals and
plants that died 200-400 million years ago. These sea animals were then covered by layers of
sediment and rock over time which caused them to become buried deeper and deeper, until
enormous amounts of pressure and heat turned them into oil and gas. Raw natural gas is a
mixture of different gasses and the main ingredient is methane, a natural compound that is
formed whenever plant and animal matter decays. On the other hand, gasoline is made from
crude oil, which is a mixture of hydrocarbons (compounds containing hydrogen and carbons).
Gasoline is most commonly known as the gas that you use in your car to help your engine run.
In a car's engine, oxygen is mixed with a fine mist of gasoline which is ignited by a spark,
causing the combustion reaction to take place. This all takes place within a cylinder of your car.
When the fuel/air mixture "explodes" (or combusts) in the cylinder, the expansion of gases from
the mini-explosion pushes a piston; this movement is what ultimately makes your wheels move.
A greenhouse gas is then emitted, called carbon dioxide- which contributes to global warming.
(“How does car pollution affect the ozone layer and Environment?” King, Jennifer SFGate n.d.
Web.) An alternative fuel such as natural gas has been considered by many scientists as a much
more environmentally friendly gas on the environment that could run automobiles.
Scientists are able to find natural gas various ways such as looking at the surface rocks to
find clues about underground formations. They also set off small explosions or drop heavy (Preston, Benjamin “I Feel Gassy” 5.8.12)
weights on the surface and record the sound waves as they bounce back from the sedimentary
rock layers underground. (www.NEED.org 2011). Scientists may also measure the gravitational
pull of rock masses deep within the earth, yet the most widely used and effective way of finding
Natural gas is by drilling down through the layers of sedimentary rock to reach the rock
formations that contain oil and gas deposits. After natural gas comes out of the ground, it goes to
a processing plant where it is cleaned of impurities and separated into its various components.
Now, the type of natural gas that goes into automobiles is called Liquefied Natural Gas, or
LNG. The process for making LNG starts the same way as producing natural gas, except the
natural gas is cooled to -260 degrees Fahrenheit. By doing this, the natural gas changes into
LNG and its volume is reduced 600 times. Another exceptional way Natural gas is found is by 3-
D and 4-D seismic imaging....