Natural gas is a combustible gas that occurs naturally in the environment. It is a mixture of gases, mainly consisting of hydrocarbons such as methane and carbon dioxide. It may also contain nitrogen or sulfur. This type of gas requires less processing than gasoline before it can be used for fuel purposes.
Natural gases are found deep within the earth. Usually, they are found along with coal and petroleum. These gases can be produced by the actions of microorganisms, or they can be a made deep in the earth when extreme heat and pressure act on organic materials.
These gases often contain extra compounds that, if burned, may produce unwanted by-products. After being harvested, natural gases are processed to remove these impurities. Butane, ethane, propane, and other "alkanes" may be acquired after processing.
Alkanes are the simplest hydrocarbon compounds. The molecules of these compounds only contain carbon and hydrogen. When burned, these chemicals produce carbon dioxide and water, although carbon monoxide may be present if there is a lack of oxygen during the combustion process. This is why natural gases burn cleaner than gasoline.
Because of the demand on petroleum, the supply of gasoline is becoming more constrained. This can cause oil price hikes. Natural gas offers a great alternative to gasoline because they cost less, burn cleaner, and are just as effective. However, you can't just use natural gas in a regular car.
Conventional car engines use either gasoline or diesel. These two types of fuel come as liquids, and car engines are designed to use only one kind of fuel. Natural gas is compressed when it is sold as fuel, but many parts of a car need to be changed before it can use this compressed gas for fuel.
A car that uses compressed natural gas, or CNG, is often called a green car because of the clean-burning nature of the gas. The growing popularity of CNG-powered cars has led to the rise of many concept cars. A concept car is a car that is designed to showcase a new type of technology. These cars often look futuristic and desirable. However, they are not available to the public because they are only used in auto shows and exhibits.
In the United States, there are over eight million cars that can use CNG as a fuel source. This number is growing as more people become conscious of the environment. There are a number of different green car models on the market. However, fueling stations that sell compressed natural gas are not as numerous as those that sell conventional fuel -- not by a long shot. There are only about 800 filling stations in the U.S. that offer CNG. Before buying a green car or converting your existing vehicle, you need to know whether you can refuel it adequately in your area.
Using natural gas is a great way to save money and go easier on the environment. However, the technology to use it in cars is not yet widely available, and it is therefore less affordable. Converting a car to use CNG is expensive but fleet operators often convert because they can easily earn back the cost over several vehicles. Most individual consumers, however, buy a specifically designed green car instead of having their old one converted if they want to use this type of fuel.