NATURAL GAS FACTS
WHAT IS NATURAL GAS

COMPOSITION:
  • A mixture of gases consisting mainly of methane (94%), with some ethane (3%) and other hydrocarbon gases
  • It is a petroleum product that may be found along with oil, or alone
  • Like oil, natural gas is a fossil fuel
  • Gets its name because it occurs naturally in the earth. It is believed to come from the decay of once living organisms over millions of years


CHARACTERISTICS: (In its natural state)

  1. It is Odorless
  2. Colorless
  3. Non-Toxic
  4. Non-Poisonous
  5. Tasteless
  6. Lighter than air (specific gravity of natural gas - .6 - .65) (air - 1.0)
    Note: In open atmosphere - gas rises into the air. In closed areas - it will rise to highest point and accumulate.

Note: Odorant (mercaptan, thiopane, spotleak) is added by the gas company to give natural gas a recognizable smell. The odorant aids in leak detection and helps people to notice leaking gas before it builds up to a dangerous level unnoticed. A very low level of odorant is needed to produce a strong odor.


ESCAPING GAS CHARACTERISTICS:

  • Distinctive Odor - "rotten egg" smell "
  • Vegetation may be initially greener then dead appearance
  • Insects (may migrate)
  • Fungus-like growth initially
  • Sound (has blowing or hissing noise)


IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER:

  • Ignition temperature of natural gas is between 1100 F and 1200 F
  • The average BTU content is 1,000 BTUs per cubic foot
  • The flammability range of natural gas is between 4.5% and 14.5%
  • The ideal mixture for burning is 10% gas to 90% air

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