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What is Recycled Natural Gas?

written by: Haresh Khemani•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 10/14/2009

This article describes how normal natural gas is produced, what is recycled natural gas and how recycled natural gas is obtained.

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    Normal Natural Gas

    Before going into the details of the recycled natural gas, let us see what the ordinary natural gas is and how it is produced normally. Natural gas is the mixture of various hydrocarbons, but its main component is methane gas. Normally, the natural gas is obtained from deep layers of the earth hidden in the porous rocks in large quantities.

    The natural gas is called as the fossil fuel because it is generated by the gradual decomposition over the years of ancient organic fossil matter created from the dead bodies of the humans, animals and plants. Over the long periods of time a number of layers of fossil matter are created. The high pressure beneath the earth and heat leads to the generation of natural gas from the fossil matter. Of all the various types of fossil fuel, natural gas is considered to the cleanest since it burning produces very few emissions.

    The natural gas obtained by the normal method can be used as the cooking gas and is available via the gas pipelines. The natural gas is available in two forms: compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG), which are used for the automobiles as well. There number of CNG and LNG fueling stations throughout US.

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    What is Recycled Natural Gas?

    The natural gas obtained from the landfills and converted into the usable form by modern technologies is called as the recycled natural gas. The chemical composition of the recycled natural gas is almost the same as ordinary natural gas. In this gas also the main component is methane gas. However, the method of generation of the recycled natural gas is different. It is generated in the landfills where large amounts of waste are generated over period of number of years. The recycled natural gas is produced when large quantities of the methane gas generated from the waste accumulated in the landfills is converted into the clean natural gas. This natural gas is then mixed in the pipelines with the natural gas produced by the normal method for domestic and commercial use.

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    How Recycled Natural Gas is produced?

    The recycled natural gas is produced from the landfill gas, which is nothing but the methane gas produced in the landfills. There are more than 1800 landfills throughout US where more than 60% of all the total solid waste produced in the country is dumped. Large amounts of organic matter are available in these wastes, which are decomposed by the bacteria over certain period of time producing methane gas.

    Even when the landfill is closed the methane gas is emitted continuously for a number of years. Instead of allowing this precious gas to waste, it is being separated, purified and mixed with the main distribution systems of the natural gas. Various advancement in technologies have made it possible to the collect the methane gas generated in the landfills and convert it for the human safety, environment cleanliness and generating economic opportunities.

    Landfills are the largest source of methane gas in US, amounting to 25% of the total gas generated in the country. If the methane gas generated in the landfills due to bacterial decomposition is not utilized, it will go wasted. In fact it has the potential to create safety concerns for the nearby buildings and also the people on the landfills. The recycled natural gas will a long way in fulfilling the energy needs of the country and making the country self reliant.

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    1) Georgia Natural Gas