Why Natural Gas?
Natural gas is a fossil fuel formed when layers of buried plants and animals are exposed to intense heat and pressure over thousands of years. The energy that the plants and animals originally obtained from the sun is stored in the form of carbon in natural gas. Natural gas is combusted to generate electricity, enabling this stored energy to be transformed into usable power. Natural gas is a nonrenewable resource because it cannot be replenished on a human time frame. The natural gas power production process begins with the extraction of natural gas, continues with its treatment and transport to the power plants, and ends with its combustion in boilers and turbines to generate electricity.
Initially, wells are drilled into the ground to remove the natural gas. After the natural gas is extracted, it is treated at gas plants to remove impurities such as hydrogen sulfide, helium, carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons, and moisture. Pipelines then transport the natural gas from the gas plants to power plants. Power plants use several methods to convert gas to electricity. One method is to burn the gas in a boiler to produce steam, which is then used by a steam turbine to generate electricity. A more common approach is to burn the gas in a combustion turbine to generate electricity. Another technology, that is growing in popularity is to burn the natural gas in a combustion turbine and use the hot combustion turbine exhaust to make steam to drive a steam turbine. This technology is called “combined cycle” and achieves a higher efficiency by using the same fuel source twice..
Although power plants are regulated by federal and state laws to protect human health and the environment, there is a wide variation of environmental impacts associated with power generation technologies. The purpose of the following section is to give consumers a better idea of the specific air, water, and solid waste releases associated with natural gas-fired generation.
At the power plant, the burning of natural gas produces nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide, but in lower quantities than burning coal or oil. >Methane, a primary component of natural gas and a greenhouse gas, can also be emitted into the air when natural gas is not burned completely. Similarly, methane can be emitted as the result of leaks and losses during transportation. Emissions of sulfur dioxide and mercury compounds from burning natural gas are negligible. The average emissions rates in the United States from natural gas-fired generation are: 1135 lbs/MWh of carbon dioxide, 0.1 lbs/MWh of sulfur dioxide, and 1.7 lbs/MWh of nitrogen oxides.1 Compared to the average air emissions from coal-fired generation, natural gas produces half as much carbon dioxide, less than a third as much nitrogen oxides, and one percent as much sulfur oxides at the power plant.2 In addition, the process of extraction, treatment, and transport of the natural gas to the power plant generates additional emissions.
Why Natural Gas Appliances?
Natural gas appliances mean comfort and value for your home. Whether it’s quick and endless hot water, tight temperature control for cooking, gentle speed for drying clothes or cozy, warm heat around your home, natural gas gives you style and savings with no compromises. Electricity may seem like the cheap, green way to go, but natural gas is also a popular choice for energizing many common indoor and outdoor appliances. And with good reason, too — this fossil fuel is efficient, reliable, economical and environmentally friendly. In fact, it may surprise you to learn that natural gas is actually considered the cleanest fossil fuel. It emits 45 percent less carbon dioxide than coal and 27 percent less carbon dioxide than oil, so it’s safe to say that choosing natural gas appliances is a responsible way to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It’s easy on your wallet as well, helping you save money when compared to other conventional energy sources available for residential use: According the U.S. Department of Energy, it costs about 68 percent less than electricity per British thermal unit (Btu), the standard measure of energy.
While the initial cost of natural gas appliances may be slightly more than electric options, the long-term operating costs can be significantly lower, especially for heating, cooking, and drying clothes. (Just make sure that your home has natural gas lines available to hook up your new appliances, or the cost of installing new lines can outweigh the long-term savings in operating costs.) Homeowners have chosen natural gas appliances for cooking and heating for decades, while other appliances are relatively new on the market. For example, natural gas air conditioning is relatively new and growing in popularity because it’s efficient and eco-friendly. Natural gas furnaces have been around longer and are a more popular choice because they help heat your home faster than conventional heating methods. In fact, air from such a furnace can be up to 25 degrees warmer right out of the vent than an electric heat pump. Natural gas is one of the most popular fuels for residential heating, used in about 56 percent of U.S. households, according to the American Gas Association.
Closely related to natural gas and crude oil, fluids such as ethane, propane, butane, isobutane, and pentane are in demand across all spheres of the economy. The applications of these hydrocarbons are diverse, from creating inhalation anesthetics to powering home generators. Of the hydrocarbons listed, ethane is the most sought after for its ability to produce ethylene, a base unit in the manufacturing of plastic. Propane is predominantly combusted and burned for drying appliances, portable ranges, and central heating. Sorely overlooked, however, is the blend of natural gas and other hydrocarbons that can act as an automotive fuel.
There are substantial benefits in switching from gasoline to natural gas. In contrast to the gasoline distributed across the United States, AUPEC’s automotive fluids are economical and efficient. AUPEC’s automotive fluids also burn cleaner due to their natural gas element. A cleaner burn promises a longer engine life. As a direct result of higher octane levels, natural-gas powered vehicles also require less maintenance than other automobiles.
It’s affordable. It’s advanced. It’s AUPEC.
AUPEC’s energy depots are purposed to fulfill all of its customers needs and fuel all forms of conveyance. Shoppers can take advantage of fast-food services, check-cashing benefits, and mechanical aid at the multi-service facilities. Also available for purchase are natural gas, biodiesel, ethanol, hydrogen, and petroleum products. Competition is not yet on the horizon for this novel project. AUPEC has established the first sustainable energy depot in the western hemisphere.