About Natural Gas

What is Natural Gas? 

        Natural Gas is a colorless, odorless, non-toxic mixture of gases such as methane, ethane, propane, and butane. Natural Gas, like all fossil fuels, started out as decomposing animal and plant matter. Over millions of years, layer after layer of sediment covered this organic material. Eventually, the intense heat and pressure transformed this organic material into methane gas, which is the major component of Natural Gas. Although usually found with petroleum, Natural Gas also occurs apart from it in sand, sandstone, and limestone deposits. Natural gas is produced by drilling into the Earth's crust where pockets of natural gas were trapped hundreds of thousands of years ago. Once the gas is brought to the surface, it is refined to remove impurities, like water, other gasses, and sand. Then it is transmitted through large pipelines that span the continent. Distributors add an odorant to the gas as a safety measure, so that people will be able to tell if there is a gas leak or if they forget to turn off an appliance.


        Natural gas began to be used as an illuminant and a fuel on a large scale in the late 19th cent.  when pipelines were built to provide it to large industrial cities. In industry, natural gas is used to manufacture pulp and paper, metals, chemicals, stone, clay, glass, and to process certain foods. Gas is also used to treat waste materials, for incineration, drying, dehumidification, heating and cooling, and cogeneration. The Clean Air Act Amendments have made natural gas an even more popular energy choice for industry. Natural gas is also used for heating, cooling, production of electricity, and has been used on a small scale in recent years as an alternative fuel for automobiles and other vehicles.

Why is Natural Gas Important to Lewisburg?

        Natural Gas is important to our community for several reasons. For one thing, many residents of Lewisburg rely heavily on Natural Gas; the LNGD has 3,554 service lines running to homes, businesses, and factories- laid end to end, these would run about 57 miles, or from here to Nashville. Also, Natural Gas is used extensively by many local industrial plants, including Tuscarora, International Comfort Products (formerly Heil-Quaker), Kantus, Walker Die-Casting, Hyperion, and Sanford. Without Natural Gas, most production in these plants would grind to a halt, which would, in turn, leave a significant portion of Marshall County unemployed. So, it's easy to see how Natural Gas is important to Lewisburg.



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Last Updated 09-30-2011