Electricity and Gas for the World!

Cooking More Effeciently with IDT Energy

Gas stove tops are very popular, but are they more energy efficient than electric stove top burners? IDT Energy is going to explore this little discussed issue with you.
Because of the fact that, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, approximately 4.5% of all household energy use is spent on cooking, Energy Star, the government’s way of measuring energy use of home appliances, does not rate or give a standard for cooking stove tops. 4.5% is just not considered enough usage to mandate stricter standards of efficiency, at least not at the moment.

Even so, are there any advantages, energy wise, of using gas over electricity for cooking? Well, it turns out that yes, there is. Gas burners are instantly hot, whereas electric burners take time to heat up and cool down. Cooks prefer gas because it is easier to control the intensity of the flame. Old fashioned gas stoves had pilot lights that were always on, wasting precious fuel, but now, with electric igniters up to 40% less gas is being used.

Abiogenic formation of natural gas happens very deep within the earth’s crust.  Here there are found carbon molecules and gases rich in hydrogen molecules. These gases slowly rise towards the earth’s surface, and as they rise they can interact with underground minerals. This interaction can result in the formation of a variety of compounds which are found in the atmosphere, like nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, argon and water. Given enough pressure as the gases move towards the earth’s surface it is likely that methane deposits will form, similar to thermogenic methane.

Biogenic Methane Renewable Natural Gas

In our exploration of the genesis of natural gas we have already seen the process of thermogenic formation which requires extreme temperatures to transform plants and animals into fossil fuels.

Another process, which could help us in today’s world produce methane as a renewable resource is called the biogenic production of methane. In this process methane is produced by the breakdown of organic matter by means of microorganisms which are found on the surface of the earth in which oxygen is not found. These microorganisms are so common that they are found in the intestines of most animals, including humans.

Presently methane formed this way is almost entirely lost to the atmosphere. Sometimes, however the methane can be trapped underground and then harvested and used as natural gas. This happens at landfills, where relatively large amounts of methane are produced when the materials in the landfill decompose with the help of the microorganisms found there.

IDT Energy hopes that this new understanding of what natural gas is and where it comes from will increase your appreciation of the wonder of natural gas.

IDT Energy Asks: How is Natural Gas Formed?

There are three major ways we know of in which natural gas is formed. The first and most famous way is called thermogenic formation of methane. This process happens when organic matter, such as dead plants or animals become compressed under the earth. The living matter is slowly transformed over millions of years through high temperatures which exist below the surface of the earth, and extreme pressures caused by the accumulation of materials on top of the organic matter over time.  The carbon bonds are broken down by the high temperature and pressure. The higher the temperature and pressure, the more natural gas is created. Therefore it is usually found that the deeper the oil deposit is found underground, the more methane (natural gas) is found there. Some extremely deep deposits are pure methane. Coal, on the other hand, found closer to the earth’s surface, and usually a smaller amount of methane is associated with the coal deposit.

Natural Gas is a Fossil Fuel

We hear so much about “fossil fuels” these days, but what is meant by this expression?  Fossil fuels are formed during millions and/or hundreds of millions of years, through extreme heat and temperature exerted on organic materials (living things) such as plants and animals. Fossil fuels range in form from extremely volatile, such as gases like methane, through liquids such as petroleum, up to totally non-volatile materials like anthracite coal.

Explore the World of Natural Gas with IDT Energy

Electricity is great. Life is almost unthinkable without electricity. From the simplest appliances like phones or light bulbs, to the most sophisticated such as jet planes and computers, electricity is a huge force in our society today. But what about IDT Energy’s other resource, natural gas? How does that fit in to our lives? Let’s explore.

Natural gas is one of the cleanest, safest and efficient forms of fossil fuel that we have. Although it is related to other things we call “gas” such as gasoline to run our cars and “gas” for the grills for backyard Barbecues, natural gas is a very different substance.