What do we know about hydrocarbons? Well, except that something from the school program in chemistry, and the word "methane" that periodically flashes through the media ... What do we know about natural gas, except for its explosive properties? What is the use of natural gas, besides the well-known to us cooking and heating of residential buildings? What's new in the world of energy consumption and energy security?
To begin with, the well-known phrase aboutThe smell of gas in the apartment or on the street is not entirely correct. Natural gas, which is fed to our apartments for cooking or for heating water, has neither taste nor smell. What we perceive is nothing more than a special additive necessary for determining gas leaks. This so-called odorant, add it at specially equipped stations in the following proportions: 16 mg per one thousand cubic meters of gas.
The main component of natural gas, of course,is methane. Its content in the gas mixture is about 89-95%, the remaining components are butane, propane, hydrogen sulphide and so-called impurities - dust and incombustible components, oxygen and nitrogen. The percentage of methane depends on the type of deposit.
The energy of natural gas released during combustionone cubic meter of fuel, is called the heat of combustion. This value is one of the initial in all questions of designing gas objects, and in different countries different values are taken as a basis. In Russia, the calculation is based on the lowest heat of combustion, in the countries of the West, such as France and the United Kingdom, at the highest.
Speaking about the explosion of natural gas, it is worthmention such terms as explosive limits and dangerous concentration. The gas explodes when its concentration in the room is from 5 to 15% of the volume. If the concentration is lower, the gas does not burn, if the concentration is more than 15%, then the gas-air mixture burns with additional air supply. A dangerous concentration is called 1/5 of the lower explosive limit, i.e. 1%.
Butane and propane have found their application as fuelfor cars (liquefied gas). Also propane is used for refueling lighters. Ethane is rarely used as fuel because it is the raw material for the production of polyethylene. Acetylene is extremely flammable and is used in welding and cutting metals. The use of natural gas, and to be more precise - of methane, has already been discussed, it is used as fuel fuel in plates, columns and boilers.
By type of produced gas, fields are dividedon gas or passing. The main difference between them is the percentage of hydrocarbon content. In gas fields, methane content is about 80-90%, in associated, or, as they are still called, "oil", its content is not more than 50%. The remaining 50% is propane-butane and oil separated from gas. One of the biggest disadvantages of gas from the associated field is its mandatory purification from various impurities. The production of natural gas is also associated with the extraction of helium. Such deposits are quite rare, helium is considered to be the optimal gas for cooling nuclear reactors. Sulfur, extracted from hydrogen sulphide, mined as an admixture of natural gas, is also used for industrial purposes.
The main tool for the extraction of natural gasis a drilling rig. This is a four-legged tower with a height of about 20-30 meters. A pipe with a drill at the end is hung to it. This pipe increases as the depth of the well increases, while drilling, a special liquid is added to the well, so that the rocks to be destroyed are not blocked.
So, after leaving the place of extraction, the purified naturalgas is supplied to the first compressor station, or, as it is also called, the head one. It is located most often in the immediate vicinity of the deposit. There, with the help of installations, high-pressure gas enters the main gas pipelines. Booster compressor stations are installed to maintain a given pressure on the main gas pipelines. Since the laying of pipes with this category of pressure inside cities is prohibited, a branch is established before each major city. It already, in turn, does not increase, but lowers the pressure. Part of it is spent by large consumers of gas - industrial enterprises, factories, boiler houses. And the other part goes to the so-called gas distribution stations - gas distribution points. There, the pressure drops again. Where is the most familiar and understandable use of natural gas? This is a burner plate.
The active use of natural gas takes itsbeginning in the middle of the 19th century, after the invention of a gas burner. And the initial use of it now for us is not quite familiar. At first it was used for street lighting.
Perhaps the best proof of the advantagesnatural gas as the most convenient source of energy are the indicators of Moscow. Gas connection allowed daily saving of one million cubic meters of firewood, 0.65 million tons of coal, 150,000 tons of kerosene and almost as much fuel oil. And all this was replaced by 1 million cubic meters. m of gas. Then followed the gradual gasification of the whole country and the search for new deposits. Later, huge reserves of gas were found in Siberia, which are still in use today.
The use of natural gas is not limited toonly the preparation of food - albeit indirectly, it is used to supply heat to houses. Most of the large urban boiler houses in the European part of Russia use natural gas as their main fuel.
Natural gas is also increasingly used inchemical industry as a raw material for the production of various organic substances. An increasing number of automobile giants are developing cars on alternative fuels, including hydrogen and natural gas.
From the point of view of ecology, natural gas can beone of the safest types of fossil fuels. However, the connection of gas to many areas of human life and subsequent combustion led to a multiple increase in the content of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Otherwise, this process is called "greenhouse effect." And this has a very negative impact on the climate of our planet. However, new technologies and production levels have recently reduced emissions to the atmosphere to the maximum. Let's remind, gas is one of the safest types of fuel.