How Is Natural Gas Used In Industry?

Natural gas is used in the electric power sector to generate electricity and usable thermal output. In 2021, the electric power sector consumed about 37% of total natural gas consumption in the United States, while natural gas provided about 32% of the primary energy consumed by the electric power sector. The majority of the electricity generated by the electric power sector is sold to and consumed by other consuming sectors in the United States, and this electricity consumption is factored into each sector’s overall energy consumption. (Natural gas is also used to create energy in the industrial and commercial sectors, and they consume practically all of it themselves.) In 2021, natural gas accounted for 38 percent of all utility-scale electrical generation in the United States.

Natural gas is used in the industrial sector as a process heating fuel, in combined heat and power systems, as a raw material (feedstock) for the production of chemicals, fertilizer, and hydrogen, and as a lease and plant fuel. In 2021, the industrial sector consumed around 33% of total natural gas consumption in the United States, and natural gas provided about 34% of the industrial sector’s total energy consumption. 2

Natural gas is used in the domestic sector to heat buildings and water, cook, and dry clothes. Natural gas is used to heat space and water in over half of all residences in the United States. In 2021, the residential sector consumed roughly 15% of total natural gas consumption in the United States, while natural gas accounted for about 23% of overall energy consumption in the residential sector.

Natural gas is used in the business sector to heat buildings and water, run refrigeration and cooling equipment, cook, dry clothing, and provide outdoor lighting. Natural gas is also used as a fuel in combined heat and power systems by some business customers. In 2021, the commercial sector consumed roughly 11% of total natural gas consumption in the United States, while natural gas accounted for about 19% of overall energy consumption in the commercial sector.

Natural gas is used in the transportation sector to power compressors that carry natural gas through pipelines, as well as as a vehicle fuel in the form of compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas. Government and private car fleets account for nearly all natural gas-powered vehicles. The transportation sector consumed roughly 3% of total natural gas consumption in the United States in 2021. Natural gas accounted for around 4% of total energy consumption in the US transportation sector in 2021, with natural gas pipeline and distribution activities accounting for 95% of that.

What are the five applications of natural gas?

Let’s start with the most basic application.

  • Electricity. Natural gas can be used to create power via steam turbines and gas turbines.

What are the three most common uses for natural gas?

We end up using the material every day in our houses. Natural gas is used to generate electricity in our society’s electric power industry. In reality, as of 2013, the electric power industry was the largest user of natural gas. Electricity generation accounts for about 34% of natural gas use in both residential and commercial buildings in the United States.

Aside from electricity, natural gas is used in the domestic sector to heat buildings, water, cook meals, and dry clothes. Natural gas can be used for almost anything that needs to be done in a home or commercial structure that involves heat.

What industries necessitate the use of natural gas?

Natural Gas’s Industrial Applications

  • Fertilizer and extensively used petrochemical items such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, synthetic textiles, and plastics require this essential building element.

What is the largest consumer of natural gas?

Since the spring, industrial activity in natural gas-consuming industries has also decreased. According to the EIA’s Manufacturing Energy Consumption Survey, the chemical, paper, primary metals, and petroleum and coal product industries account for about 75% of natural gas consumed in U.S. manufacturing.

The Federal Reserve’s Industrial Production Index reveals that since March, production activity in major natural gas-consuming businesses in the US has been declining. The primary metals industry experienced the steepest drop in industrial output, dropping over 29% since January 2018, before beginning to rebound in June. The chemicals industry, which uses approximately 40% of the natural gas used in U.S. manufacturing and is the greatest consumer of natural gas, has had the smallest reduction, falling by around 5% at its peak. This spring, the paper, petroleum, and coal product industries all saw significant declines.

What are some examples of natural gas-based products?

Natural gas is employed in a number of different production processes. Natural gas consumption in 2013 accounted for about 31% of total consumption.

The United States was dominated by business. Natural gas is employed as a raw resource as well as a heat source.

Fertilizer, antifreeze, plastics, medications, and fabrics all contain natural gas as a component. It’s also utilized to make a variety of products.

Ammonia, methanol, butane, ethane, propane, and acetic acid are examples of chemicals.

To melt, dry, bake, or gloss a product, many manufacturing operations require heat.

Glass, steel, cement, and bricks all need natural gas as a heat source.

Ceramics, tile, paper, food products, and a variety of other items are among the products available. In many industrial facilities, natural gas is also used for incineration.

Is natural gas used in the production of electricity?

In 2021, natural gas was the primary source of power generation in the United States, accounting for nearly 38% of total generation. Natural gas is utilized to create energy in steam turbines and gas turbines.

In 2021, coal was the second-largest energy source for electricity generation in the United States, accounting for around 22% of total generation. Steam turbines are used in nearly all coal-fired power plants. A few coal-fired power plants convert coal to gas, which is then used to generate electricity using a gas turbine.

In 2021, petroleum accounted for less than 1% of total electrical generation in the United States. Steam turbines consume residual fuel oil and petroleum coke. Diesel-engine generators use distillateor dieselfuel oil. Gas turbines can also burn residual fuel oil and distillates.

Natural gas is the most environmentally friendly fossil fuel because it burns cleaner

If we burn natural gas under ideal combustion conditions, the light will be blue, and hazardous chemicals will be negligible to non-existent.

Natural gas is one of the most easily stored and transported energy sources. It can be carried by tankers or by international pipelines (in LNG form). It is less hazardous and less difficult to store than other fossil fuels.

Natural gas is undeniably one of the best nonrenewable energy sources. What about renewable energy, though?

More efficient storage and transportation compared to renewable energy

Long-distance transportation is far more efficient than the use of sustainable energy (less network loss).

One of the main drawbacks of renewable energy is that we can’t efficiently store it.

What industries rely on natural gas as a source of energy?

Natural gas is a source of energy as well as a necessary raw ingredient in the industrial process.

Manufacturing is a $100 billion business in Australia, employing 890,000 people directly.

Around 225,000 people work in manufacturing industries that rely significantly on gas, with another 500,000 in associated industries that do business with these manufacturers.

Food preparation and processing, fermentation, and brewing all require gas.

Gas Powering Industrial Processes

Many industrial operations would be impossible to complete without gas to fire kilns and furnaces, such as the production of glass, bricks, paper, cement, steel, and alumina.

To generate a non-corrosive layer, steel is galvanized using hot molten zinc. GB Galvanising, headquartered in Victoria, burns 50,000 gigajoules (GJ) of gas per year. Alternative fuels are incapable of maintaining the required high temperatures.

Gas is used in alumina refineries to generate electricity and to convert bauxite into alumina, which is used to make aluminum.

The only fuel that can reach this temperature is gas. Alcoa’s three alumina refineries in Western Australia require 95,000 terajoules (TJ) of gas per year.

Natural gas can also be used as a raw material (feedstock) to make fertilizers, explosives, paper, polymers, and chemicals. There is no substitute for gas in most circumstances.

Ammonia, a critical feedstock for a variety of industries, is made from gas.

Urea, which is made from ammonia, is the most widely used fertilizer on the planet.

Each tonne of urea requires 21GJ of natural gas to produce, which is the same amount of gas used by the average NSW family in a year.

Ammonia is also utilized in the production of explosives and cleaning goods, as well as in the fermenting, brewing, and winemaking processes.

What is beneficial to the petroleum and industrial industries?

Electricity is purchased by most enterprises from either electric utilities or independent power producers. Furthermore, some industrial facilities generate power for their own usage utilizing fuels purchased and/or waste products from their activities. Many paper mills, for example, have combined heat and power plants that use purchased natural gas or coal, as well as black liquor produced in their mills, to provide process heat and electricity. On-site solar photovoltaic systems are used by some manufacturers to generate electricity. A portion of the electricity generated by some industrial operations is sold.

  • Boiler fuel is used to produce steam or hot water for process heating and energy generation.

Electricity is used in the industrial sector to power industrial motors and machinery, as well as lights, computers and office equipment, and facility heating, cooling, and ventilation equipment.