1. WHAT IS NATURAL GAS?
Natural gas (also called fossil gas; sometimes just gas) is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting of methane and commonly including varying amounts of other higher alkanes, and sometimes a small percentage of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen sulfide, or helium. Natural gas is colorless and odorless, so a sulfur-smell is added for early detection of leaks. Natural gas is formed when layers of decomposing plant and animal matter are exposed to intense heat and pressure under the surface of the Earth over millions of years. The energy that the plants originally obtained from the sun is stored in the form of chemical bonds in the gas. Natural gas is a fossil fuel.
Natural gas is a non-renewable hydrocarbon used as a source of energy for heating, cooking, and electricity generation. It is also used as a fuel for vehicles and as a chemical feedstock in the manufacture of plastics and other commercially important organic chemicals.
USES OF NATURAL GAS
- Transportation = CNG is a cleaner and cheaper alternative to other automobile fuels such as gasoline (petrol).
- Power Generation = Natural gas is a major source of electricity generation through the use of cogeneration, gas turbines and steam turbines.
- Domestic Use = Natural gas dispensed in a residential making it a hassle-free domestic cooking fuel.
- Fertilizers = Natural gas is a major feedstock to produce ammonia for use in fertilizer production.
- Manufacturing of fabrics, glass, steel, plastics, paint, synthetic oil, and other products.
2. COMPRESSED BIOGAS (CBG) - A RENEWABLE AUTOMOTIVE FUEL!
Biogas, is a combustible gas primarily comprising of methane (CH4) in a proportion of 50-75% and carbon dioxide (CO2) in a proportion of 25-45%. Bio Gas is naturally produced from the organic wastes through the process of anaerobic decomposition. Biogas is then purified to remove unwanted gases like hydrogen sulphide (H2S), Carbon-dioxide (CO2) & water vapour. This purified biogas is compressed to form Compressed Bio Gas (CBG), a green & renewable automotive fuel!
Bio Gas to Compressed Bio Gas (CBG)
Bio Gas is obtained by Anaerobic digestion, which is the natural form of waste-to-energy that uses the process of Anaerobic Digestion for the decomposition of organic wastes in an anaerobic environment (an environment with absence of oxygen) with the help of anaerobic bacteria.
Some examples of organic waste (feedstock) can be:
- Agricultural Residue
- Animal Waste, Manure-Cattle Dung
- Municipal Solid Waste
- Sugarcane Press Mud, Distillery Spent Wash
- Sewage Treatment Plant Waste, Wastewater
- Forestry Residues
- Treated organic waste from industrial effluent treatment plants (ETPs)
- Food Waste & many more
By converting organic waste into energy, biogas is utilizing nature’s tendency to recycle substances into productive resources.
ADVANTAGES OF CBG
- Climatic Advantages (no CO2) emission on Burning)
- Non-Polluting and Non-Hazardous
- Manages waste and its disposal
- Minimal capital investment
- CBG is termed as a clean source of energy and can make a significant impact on reducing green-house gases as it generates no net Carbon Dioxide as a by-product.
- Use of CBG does not require fossil fuel extraction to produce energy.
SATAT – AN INITIATIVE OF GOVERNMENT
SATAT stands for Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation, it is an initiative launched by Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoP&NG) on 1st October 2018 under National Policy on Biofuels 2018 by Shri Dharmendra Pradhan (Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Minister of Steel) to set up & encourage production of CBG for use in vehicular sector to reduce polluting emissions and to promote the vision of Clean & Green India.
3. WHY IS CNG BETTER THAN OTHER FUELS?
As petrol (gasoline) and diesel prices increase, the need for a cleaner and less expensive alternative fuel becomes even more important. Here, compressed natural gas or CNG appears to be the viable option as an automotive fuel.
Here are the advantages CNG has over petroleum-based fuels:
- Compressed natural gas is a clean-burning fuel. It is, the cleanest of all fossil fuels. Since natural gas is composed mainly of methane, burning it produces carbon dioxide and water vapor. These are the same compounds we exhale when we breathe. Meanwhile, petroleum produces higher carbon emissions, nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide. Burning fuel oil also produces ash particulates that worsen pollution.
- Combustion of natural gas releases very small amounts of these compounds. For instance, carbon monoxide emission is reduced by about 80% in CNG-powered cars compared to gasoline-powered vehicles. CNG also produces 45% less hydrocarbons than gasoline. And although natural gas also produces greenhouse gases, it is considerably reduced compared to gasoline or diesel. This helps reduce the harmful effects of greenhouse gases to the environment particularly through global warming.
- Since CNG is a clean burning fuel, combusting it leaves little, or no residue compared to gasoline or diesel. Thus, the damage to the pipes and tubes of the vehicle’s engine is greatly reduced. There is also less particulate matter that can contaminate the motor oil. This results to longer periods in between maintenance procedures such as tune-ups and oil changes. Consequently, owners of CNG-powered cars enjoy bigger savings on maintenance costs.
- CNG also has a high ignition temperature of about 1163 degrees Fahrenheit and a flammability rating of approximately 5 to 15% gas in air. CNG is also lighter than air and will simply dissipate into the atmosphere in the case of leaks. Meanwhile, gasoline or diesel will pool in the ground when there is a leak which results to a very dangerous fire hazard. Lastly, CNG is a non-toxic fuel that does not pose any danger of contamination to ground water.
Source – CNGUnited.com