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How Do You Store Biological Gas?

Feb 6, 2008
Natural gas uptake typically climbs and falls with the seasons. In the wintertime, we historically have consumed a lot more biological gas for heating. We are veering towards using natural gas for electricity, in addition to heat. Thus, we are using a lot of natural gas year round. Spikes in the summer time are getting more coarse than ever now that natural gas is being used for cooling in our homes and businesses. The abundant demand for clean burning, energy efficient natural gas demands that we constantly withdraw, process and move natural gas to the areas that need it most. We also must stock redundant gas so that it is ready for use. We house certain amounts based on expected consumption and we store excess amounts that will secure that the supply equals or exceeds the demand when natural gas needs spike higher than expected.

We used to primarily consume coal gas. Coal gas was put in in gasometers starting in the mid-eighteenth century. These were large, outside tanks that slowly slumped into the ground as the gas stores were depleted. Coal gas was used mainly in towns for lighting, heating and sometimes cooking. Coal gas quickly became widely referred to as town gas. Once large biological gas reserves were located in the late 20th century, we finally gave up using coal gas. Natural gas is much safer and less expensive than coal gas ever was.

We extract natural gas from the natural gas fields and move it via pipeline to where it is needed. Natural gas in a non liquid or solid state can use a lot of room. Therefore, we cool it to a temperature that puts it into a liquid state. Old aquifers are designed to hold liquid and are a great underground alternative for housing liquid natural gas. Natural gas is much too flammable to store above ground in reserves where it can be exposed to heat, so underground choices are preferable.

Natural gas may as well be stored in old salt mines or old gas reservoirs. Gas stores are belowground and are made of leaky rock. This rock held natural gas at one time and makes a well-suited location for storing natural gas. We usually store natural gas in gas reservoirs that we would expect to use within about a year's time. It can be extremely complicated to siphon the gas that we need from gas reservoirs, so other methods are used for gas demands that are unexpected.

We stock natural gas in aquifers and salt mines for sudden needs. These emplacements offer a quick retrieval of natural gas when we have a sudden demand. The reserve of naural gas in an aquifer or salt mine usually lasts a couple of days or weeks at the most.
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Ashworth College
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