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What is Compressed natural gas?
Natural gas was discovered many centuries ago as they are proof of its use in ancient Greece and Persia.
Natural gas has emerged as promising fuel due to its environment friendly nature, efficiency, and cost effectiveness. Economically natural gas is very efficient since only 10% of the produced gas is wasted before consumption and it does not need to be generated from other fuels. Moreover natural gas is used in its normal state.
It is also suitable as chemical feedstock for the petrochemical industry. Hence natural gas can substitute oil in both sectors, namely as a fuel (industry and domestic) and chemicals (fertilizer petrochemicals and organic chemicals).
Natural gas can be hard to find since it can be trapped in porous rocks deep underground. However, various methods have been developed to find out natural gas deposits. The methods employed are as follows:
1) Looking at surface rocks to find clues about underground formations,
2) Setting off small explosions or drop heavy weights on the surface and record the sound waves as they bounce back from the rock layers underground and
3) By measuring the gravitational pull of rock masses deep within the earth.
Natural gas resources include all the deposits of gas that are still in the ground waiting to be tapped.
Natural gas reserves are only those gas deposits that scientists know, or strongly believe, can be recovered given today's prices and drilling technology.
Country Reserves %
North America 4
Russian Federation 27
Middle East 40
Other Europe and Asia 9
Asia Pacific 8
South and central America 4
Natural gas is a mixture of light hydrocarbons including methane, ethane, propane, butanes and pentanes. Other compounds found in natural gas include CO2 , helium, hydrogen sulphide and nitrogen.
The composition of natural gas is never constant, however, the primary component of natural gas is methane (typically, at least 90%). Methane is highly flammable, burns easily and almost completely. It emits very little air pollution.
Natural gas is neither corrosive nor toxic, its ignition temperature is high, and it has a narrow flammability range, making it an inherently safe fossil fuel compared to other fuel sources. In addition, because of its specific gravity ( 0.60) , lower than that of air (1.00), natural gas rises if escaping, thus dissipating from the site of any leak.
Natural Gas Exploration
Geologists now play a central role in identifying natural gas formations. They evaluate the structure of the soil and compare it with other areas where natural gas has been found.
Later, they carry out specific tests such as studying ground rock formations where natural gas traps may have been formed The more accurate these techniques get the higher the probability of finding gas when drilling.
Natural Gas Extraction
Natural gas is captured by drilling a hole into the reservoir rock. Drilling can be onshore or offshore. Equipment used for drilling depends on the location of the natural gas trap and the nature of the rock. Once natural gas has been found it has to be recovered efficiently.
The most efficient recovery rate is characterized by the maximum quantity of gas that can be extracted during a period of time without damaging the formation. Several tests must be taken at this stage. Most often, the natural gas is under pressure and will come out of the hole on its own. In some cases, pumps and other more complicated procedures are required to remove the natural gas from the ground.
Natural Gas Processing
Processing is carried out to remove contaminants from the natural gas and also to convert it to useful energy for different applications.
This processing first involves the extraction of the natural gas liquids from the natural gas stream and then the fractioning of the natural gas liquids into their separate components.
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