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Natural Gas

Liquefied Natural Gas

Since gases take up large amounts of space, they can be inconvenient to transport and store. The ability to liquefy the components of natural gas (either as a mixture or in isolation) has made natural gas much more practical as an energy source. The liquefaction of natural gas takes advantage of the different boiling points of methane, ethane, and other gases as a way of purifying each substance. A combination of refrigeration and increased pressure allows the individual gases to be stored and transported conveniently. At one time, the natural gas which often accompanied petroleum in the ground was simply burned off as a means of getting rid of it. Recently, however, this gas has been collected, liquefied and used along with the petroleum.



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"Oil Company Discovers Gas Deposit Off Australia." Wall Street Journal. March 2, 1995, pp. C10, C12.

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Vogel, Todd and Mimi Bluestone. "Gas Is Cooking Now." Business Week October 24, 1988, p. 24.

Louis Gotlib


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—An upward fold in a geological formation that traps gases.

Combustion reaction

—A form of oxidation that occurs so rapidly that noticeable heat and light are produced.

Exothermic reaction

—A chemical process that releases heat (hydrocarbon combustion reactions are exothermic).

Fossil fuel

—A fuel that is derived from the decay of plant or animal life; coal, oil, and natural gas are the fossil fuels.


—Compound made from atoms of hydrogen and carbon. Methane (CH4) and propane (C3H8) are simple, gaseous hydrocarbons. Oil can vary from tar to very light liquid hydrocarbon to natural gas.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Mysticism to Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotideNatural Gas - Formation And Composition Of Natural Gas, History Of The Discovery And Use Of Natural Gas, Liquefied Natural Gas