Natural gas  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Natural gas is a gas consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons (primarily ethane). It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.

Most natural gas is created by two mechanisms: biogenic and thermogenic. Biogenic gas is created by methanogenic organisms in marshes, bogs, landfills, and shallow sediments. Deeper in the earth, at greater temperature and pressure, thermogenic gas is created from buried organic material.

Before natural gas can be used as a fuel, it must undergo processing to remove almost all materials other than methane. The by-products of that processing include ethane, propane, butanes, pentanes, and higher molecular weight hydrocarbons, elemental sulfur, carbon dioxide, water vapor, and sometimes helium and nitrogen.

Natural gas is often informally referred to as simply gas, especially when compared to other energy sources such as oil or coal.


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Natural gas" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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