Have you ever wondered what is the source of the uninterrupted power supply, the heating that keeps you warm in the classroom, Yes – our day-to-day activities like cooking, transportation, eating, depends so much on it such that its extinction will be catastrophic.
The NATURAL GAS is a very essential commodity just like the air we don’t see, but we can feel its impact on our lives on an everyday basis. It is a ‘fossil’ fuel with methane as its main component. It is extracted from deep underground beneath the earth surface, it is then transported to refineries where it is processed, stored and finally delivered to end consumers. unlike other fossil fuels – like coal and fuel oil, the natural gas is a clean gas. In other words, it is an environmentally friendly gas, it burns efficiently without leaving a carbon footprint. It is easy to control ( On/off) and has high calorific content (delivers heat quickly).
Majority of the gas used in Ireland is imported from Britain via sub-sea pipelines. Another source of importation is via Liquified natural gas (LNG) carriers. This is a special ship that can carry natural gas in the liquefied state at very low temperatures and pressure. The rest of the gas supply comes from indigenous production. Ireland has a network of pipelines for transmission and distribution of the gas.
This is not so for the third world country or developing country. This lack of network has made It impossible for people to easily access the gas in their homes. In such a country, the other alternative – LPG is widely used in homes. The LPG can be compressed into strong metal tanks or cylinders. The gas stoves in the homes are supplied by this strong metal tanks.
The pipes for transmission of gas in Ireland are bigger in sizes and are used for intra cities supplies connecting Dublin, Galway, cork and other cities. The transmission pipes also supply the power stations where the gas is used in gas turbines to produce electricity. That is where most of the electricity we enjoy comes from. Within the cities, the smaller distribution pipes come into play. These are smaller pipes connected to the main transmission pipes. The gas in the distribution pipes flows in much-reduced pressures into residential homes, offices, schools, organisations etc. Inside the house, the gas is used to produce hot water in the boiler for heating purposes ( heaters and shower) as well as for cooking in the gas stoves. In its natural form, the gas is odourless and colourless but for easy detection, a harmless chemical is added to give the gas a nauseating odour which is described by most people as the “smell of a rotten egg”. So when next your home and perceive the smell of a rotten egg, it is possible that you have a gas leak!