January 2009

Special Report: Gas Processing Developments

Natural gas, the clean fuel

Emissions control and environmental aspects

Speight, J. G., CD&W, Inc.

All the fossil fuels—coal, petroleum and natural gas (NG) —release pollutants into the atmosphere when burned to provide energy. However, NG is the most environmentally friendly fossil fuel. It is cleaner burning than coal or petroleum since it contains less carbon than its fossil fuel cousins. NG also has less sulfur (S) and nitrogen (N2) compounds, and, when it's burned, it emits less ash particulates into the air than coal or petroleum fuels. Currently, NG represents about 25% of the energy consumed in the US with projections to increase to 27% by 2020. The slight increase is due to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions since NG is much lower in emitting carbon relative to other foss

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