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Otago Environmentalists Question Natural Gas Exploration off Otago Coast

Environmentalists have triggered rumblings in Dunedin lately in protest in opposition to plans by Australian giant OMV to look for natural gas within the Great South Basin. They are saying natural gas ought to be left within the ground, and burning it as a gas is a backward step.

To test their considerations, we first need to grasp what natural gasoline truly is. The method for its creation is much like other fossil fuels. Buried plant matter can turn out to be compressed over thousands of years, and ultimately a few of it turns into a gas and turns into trapped.

Emissions of carbon dioxide are the concern after we burn fuels for electricity because it stays within the ambiance and holds heat, contributing to a warming climate. Advocates for natural gas’ use as a fuel cite its lower emissions of carbon dioxide relative to the dirtier coal. Per kilowatt-hour of electrical energy coal emits 1.1kg of carbon dioxide, whereas natural gas emits 0.35kg.

Natural gas can be almost 3X environment-friendly, as 0.13kg is required to create 1kWh of power supply, in contrast with 0.36kg for coal. University of Otago physics senior professor Michael Jack, who’s the director of its power administration program, says to grasp why we have to look at the chemical formation of each substance.

Coal is predominantly carbon, so when it’s combusted a whole lot of carbon dioxide is released. Pure gasoline is primarily methane, which has one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms. Since the energy is contained principally within the hydrogen bonds, most of what’s launched when burned are water.

The plants for burning natural gas are generally cleaner than these burning coal, he says.

Natural gasoline, and therefore methane, the identical greenhouse gasoline emitted when cows belch, can leak when being extracted from the bottom and through transportation.

Methane is roughly 30X stronger than carbon dioxide when it comes to holding heat and warming the planet.


Helen Manilla

Helen is a chemical engineer mastered from the University of Delaware. She leads the Natural Gas column along with two associates who eye all the industry developments. Helen has built connections in all the major enterprises and policymakers so that she never misses on any update from the industry. Helen joined the group two years ago.

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