MP

Natural Gas Demand Will Grow For Decades To Come

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Pure muddle.

'Natural gas'/methane can come from mineral deposits, landfills, livestock feedlots, rice paddies, volcanoes, forest fires, swamps, 'serpentinization', etc. An alternative source of 'fossil' natural gas is continental shelf and arctic clathrates ('ice that burns').

The Sabatier reaction forms methane from CO2 and H2. This reaction was discovered in the late 19th century. NASA uses it to purge carbon separated from CO2 from the International Space Station.

So the idea that it is 'important' may not acknowledge where it comes from, how it forms, or how it is used. There also is no discussion in the quoted article about the respective storage mechanisms, or its use in fuel cells. Methane is a 'problem' in that it is a greenhouse gas, to say nothing of the global warming aspects of gas combustion. However, methane is trivially easy to make from CO2, so it is a also possible to sequester carbon in the form of methane, as long as the methane is segregated from the atmosphere.

One reason cities are obstructing further natural gas use is that the existing networks are leaky, and the utilities have proven to be unreliable in maintaining their municipal gas networks. Many of the gas networks in the US are over 100 years old.

Natural gas makes sense in fuel cells situated in high-demand areas, since they are silent. They are often used where gas can be produced from biomass 'digesters', such as in breweries.

The natural gas market in 2040 will most likely be unrecognizable to those who deal in it today - the sources are most likely to be renewable and much of the product will be a 'leftover' from something else, such as municipal landfills, water treatment plants, etc. So the assertion in the title is correct, however not necessarily in the way the author and her sources intended.

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