Methane

Methane is the main component of natural gas, which is used for in home heating, cooking, and electricity generation. Methane is also used in some petrochemicals, especially fertilizers. The abundance of methane makes it an attractive fuel. Like most other gases, methane is difficult to transport from its source. The demand for methane is obviously higher during winters and lower during summers.

Methane is produced in 3 ways. 1.) Non-associated gas is produced from a gas field and wellhead which does not produce crude oil. 2.) Associated gas is produced from the same wellhead as crude oil then separated in a gas-oil separation plant. 3.) Gases are produced in an oil refinery system during the distillation and cracking processes of crude oil.

Aside from being the main component in natural gas, methane is also used to produce methanol. Methanol is used to manufacture gasoline octane raising MTBE. Methanol is a volatile, flammable, and colorless alcohol that is used in the production of formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is used in a wide variety of plastic products. Methanol is also used to create anti-freeze, biodiesel, and is used by itself as a niche fuel.

Some unconventional forms of methane include tight gas, which is methane locked in sandstone rock; coalbed methane, which is found along with coal; and shale gas, which is methane gas found between shale deposits with low permeability. Artificial fracturing of reservoirs is used to remove the methane gas from the shale deposits.


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