What are the advantages and disadvantages of natural gas?

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Canada is one of the largest producers of natural gas in the world. The country has both onshore and offshore deposits.

Natural gas is the most common fuel used for heating in Canada and it is a major energy source for electricity generation. It is also increasingly used in its compressed form to power various types of vehicles.

Here is an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of natural gas.

Advantages of natural gas

Natural gas is the least polluting and most efficient fossil fuel

Compared to other fossil fuels, natural gas provides the greatest amount of energy from combustion relative to the amount of pollutants released into the atmosphere.

For example, compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles emit 25% less greenhouse gases than diesel-powered vehicles when travelling the same distance. In addition, the use of compressed natural gas almost completely reduces the emission of harmful fine particles from vehicles.

Natural gas is the most environmentally friendly hydrocarbon to produce

The use of natural gas requires fewer resources and presents less risk of water contamination than other fossil fuels.

In addition, advanced techniques such as  horizontal directional drilling reduce surface disturbance and environmental impact. Not to mention that “renewable” natural gas (RNG) can also be created from residual materials via the biomethanization process, making it possible to obtain natural gas without drilling new territories.

Natural gas is easily accessible

A major pipeline network supplies natural gas to the majority of urbanized regions in Quebec and Canada. This has led to the establishment of natural gas distribution companies in various strategic locations.

For those who choose to run on natural gas, public CNG fueling stations are now available on many roads. Carriers can even equip themselves with a private CNG service station.

Disadvantages of natural gas

Approaching the end of “classic” reserves

Most of the natural gas comes from so-called “conventional” geological formations. Natural gas can easily be extracted from these sources. However, they are becoming increasingly difficult to find. Unconventional sources require more resources to harvest natural gas.

The constant arrival of new techniques and adapted tools, however, facilitates the extraction of these deposits and makes it cleaner. As mentioned above, a new way to produce natural gas from biogas using decomposing waste materials also makes it possible to obtain “green” energy. This means that what is considered a disadvantage of natural gas today will soon no longer be one.

For more information on compressed natural gas

In short, using natural gas in its various forms has far more advantages than disadvantages.

At EBI, we are confident in this fuel of the future and have been using CNG as a vehicle fuel for several years. Its advantages have led us to offer CNG fueling to the general public and to businesses in several regions of Quebec. Contact us for more information on CNG!