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Difference between Biogas and Natural Gas

Nature is filled with gases. Some gases are deliberately produced, while some gases are naturally obtained from the earth. There are gases under the ground or in the air. Nature has a lot of gases with which human beings have been able to utilize in industries to produce goods. Well, some gases are released through these industries. Such chemical gases are said to be harmful for everyone. Carbon dioxide is one of the fatal gases for human beings. This is the reason we are always suggested to plant trees. This is so because plants absorb carbon dioxide and give out oxygen. Everyone on this planet requires oxygen. From an insect to huge animals, to human beings; all of us require oxygen to survive. Today, we will discuss about the two kinds of gases found on earth, i.e., biogas and natural gas. Now, biogas and natural gas are quite different from one another. So, before knowing their differences, let us look at the meaning of biogas and natural gas.

Difference between Biogas and Natural Gas


Biogas is defined as the gas that is produced by decomposing the organic matter. This gas is produced in the absence of oxygen, and it majorly consists of carbon dioxide and methane. Biogas is produced from various materials like sewage, agricultural waste, food waste, animal waste, etc. One of the advantages of biogas is that it is a green energy source leading to less emission of nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, and methane. It is important to note that due to the presence of methane, biogas is highly flammable. The blue flame that is produced is used as an energy resource. Biogas is produced by anaerobic digestion. Now, there have been several discussions on biogas being good or bad. But biogas is not harmful; rather, it is eco-friendly. Biogas is a renewable energy source that helps in reducing the greenhouse effect. One more characteristic of biogas is that it immerses in the air and is much lighter than LPG and CNG. There are several kinds of biogas digesters and plants like fixed dome biogas plants, earth-pit plants, floating drum plants, Ferro-cement plants, etc. Methanogen is used in producing biogas. It helps in converting the nitrates into the soil to make nitrogen. Biogas is used for various other purposes like gas engines, cooking, etc.

Natural Gas

As the name suggests, natural gas is defined as the gas that is produced naturally underground. Natural gas primarily consists of methane and various other hydrocarbons. A percentage of carbon dioxide, methane, helium, nitrogen, hydrogen sulfide, etc., are mixed together. The fusion of methane and other alkanes leads to the production of natural gases. Natural gas is a fossil fuel, but greenhouse gas emissions are relatively lower than oil or coal. Natural gas emits 50-60% of less carbon dioxide. Natural gas is primarily made of four gases, namely methane, ethane, propane, and butane. One of the significant disadvantages is that it is highly flammable and can lead to explosions.

Moreover, a large amount of money is required to construct the gas pipelines. But the natural gas is mostly used for cooking purposes, cooling, drying clothes, etc. Unlike biogas, natural gas may have adverse effects on the environment. Natural gas emits methane which leaks into the atmosphere resulting in high levels of sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxide. Now, there are some contrasting points between biogas and natural gas. So, let us discuss this in brief about them.

1. Biogas is defined as the gas which is produced by decomposing the organic waste. On the other hand, natural gas is defined as the gas that is produced naturally underground.
2. Biogas majorly consists of methane. Natural gas comprises of four gases, i.e., methane, ethane, propane, and butane.
3. Biogas is eco-friendly. Natural gas may have some adverse effects on nature.
4. Biogas is easily produced and put to use. Natural gas involves a lot of money to be utilized and made (pipelines).
5. Biogas is obtained from farm waste, animal waste, green waste, shrubs, and human waste. Natural gas is naturally obtained.
6. Biogas is available in a limited form. Natural gas is present in huge quantities.
7. Biogas is used in rural areas. Natural gas is used as a source of energy.
8. Biogas cannot be used as a raw material. Natural gas is used as a raw material in petrochemical industries to produce petroleum.
9. Biogas is produced by the decomposition of organic matter. This gas has higher thermal efficiency as compared to charcoal or kerosene. Natural gas is used as LPG in households and as CNG in vehicles.
10. Biogas does not give out smoke. Natural gas leaves smoke.
11. Biogas is a renewable energy source. Natural gas is a non-renewable energy source.
12. Biogas contains methane, carbon dioxide with less percentage of hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen. Natural gas comprises of methane and various hydrocarbons.

So, these are some contrasting points between biogas and natural gas. Now, there are certain advantages and disadvantages of biogas and natural gas. So, let us discuss about them.

Advantages of Biogas

  1. The waste products are utilized for producing biogas.
  2. Biogas is an appropriate alternative to electricity and cooking in rural areas.
  3. Biogas is environment-friendly.
  4. Biogas is an organic fertilizer.
  5. Soil and water pollution is reduced through biogas.

Disadvantages of Biogas

  1. Biogas contains a lot of impurities. Due to this, the maintenance costs are increased.
  2. Biogas depends upon the weather, i.e., the temperature needed by the biogas to digest waste is 37-40 degrees.
  3. Biogas is suitable only for rural areas. It is not used in metropolitan cities.

Advantages of Natural Gas

  1. Natural gas can be easily transported.
  2. Less pollution is released through natural gas.
  3. Natural gas is abundant in nature. It is always naturally available.

Disadvantages of Natural Gas

  1. More money is required to store and transport natural gas.
  2. Natural gas emits carbon dioxide, which may have negative impacts on the environment.
  3. Natural gas is difficult to harness, i.e., the gases except for methane have to be extracted to utilize it.

So, these are some of the advantages and disadvantages of natural gas and biogas. These gases are used for various purposes such as cooking, cooling equipment, drying clothes, etc. Biogas is also used in gobar gas plants to produce energy. Both natural gas and biogas are energy resources and are used for various purposes.

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