What are the Disadvantages of Natural Gas?

Natural Gas is the basic need of every household as an energy source for both heating and cooking.

Manu viewed Natural Gas as a transition fuel towards a cleaner energy source. Earlier for cooking and heating wood was primarily used which not only produced harmful gases on burning but also caused deforestation.

Primarily, Natural Gas comes in two forms Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), both are natural gases difference is chemical components.

LNG is made up of methane and CNG is made up of propane, there are other Natural Gases as well like propane and butane which have their usage.

Natural Gas can be a great way to meet the basic need of energy requirements however, there are a few disadvantages as well, which we will discuss here in this article.

But first, Let’s Find out what is Natural Gas.

What are the Disadvantages of Natural Gas

What is Natural Gas?

Natural gas is a naturally found mix of hydrocarbons that contains various gases like methane, butane, etc. These gases are highly flammable hence, act as a great source of energy.

These Natural Gases are deep inside the earth’s surface and captured in small cavities. When these cavities are punctured by drilling, the gases escape into the surface and are captured for use.

Natural Gases are formed when ancient animals and plants are decomposed while being exposed to extreme heat and pressure when they are under the earth’s surface for millions of years.

List of Gases that are considered as Natural Gas

The following is the list of gases which are considered as Natural Gas-

  • Methane
  • Ethane
  • Propane
  • Butanes

Features of Natural Gas

The following are the features of Natural Gas-

  • Readily available from nature and is found in abundant
  • It is a highly flammable gas which allows us it for heating, cooking, and other energy-intensive work processes
  •  Natural gas is colorless, tasteless, and odorless
  • The density of the Natural gas is lighter than air which makes it rise when leaked allowing it to dissipate into the air
  •  Natural gas is less corrosive due to high methane and low carbon compositions in the gas mix

Source of Natural Gas

Natural Gas can be found deep inside the earth’s crust formed when the decomposing plant or animal is in contact with high heat and pressure.

The following are the countries which exports Natural Gas-

United States1.03 trillion cubic meters
Russia699 billion cubic meters
Iran244 billion cubic meters
China219 billion cubic meters
Qatar170 billion cubic meters
Australia162 billion cubic meters
Norway128 billion cubic meters
Saudi Arabia105 billion cubic meters
Algeria102 billion cubic meters

Disadvantages of Natural Gas

As there are many advantages of natural gas there are also disadvantages of using natural Gas which are as follows-

Limited Availablity

Natural Gas is captured in the earth’s crust and the only way it escapes the earth’s crust is through a crack. The geological department of various countries sends expeditions to various potential locations to find our Gas source, however, it is extremely hard to find those sources.

It often required very rigorous surveys and research before finding out about the potential site for drilling. Sometimes even if the gas is found, it is not profitable to extract that gas and there is no extraction done.

 Natural gas is a non-renewable resource and takes millions of years to form hence, it is very limited and the sources of Natural gas are depleting fast.

Highly Combustible

Natural Gas is highly combustible which is a pro as well as a con of the gas. Managing the gas’s combustibility is very important to get benefits out of the gas however, accidents happen and it claims life.

Natural gas is extremely dangerous when it is compressed because of the pressure at which it is stored. When the pressure suddenly releases due to instrumental fault or any impact, the gas trap inside the cylinder suddenly starts expanding and catches fire.

This acts as a cylinder bomb and it erupts with huge flames and sound. Due to its high flammability, it can become fatal if you do not take precautions.

Natural Gas is a Non-Renewable Source of Energy

Natural gas is a non-renewable source of energy and is extracted deep from the earth’s crust. It is not renewable energy and leaves a huge carbon footprint while extracting as well as when being used.

This footprint causes a lot of environmental decay and contributes to global warming. Countries are actively participating in finding an alternative to Natural Gas.

Natural Gas Emits Carbon Dioxide

Natural Gas has the majority of methane in it and the chemical formula of methane is CH4. One atom of carbon and 4 atoms of hydrogen which makes it highly flammable.

But when it is burned all the hydrogen gets burned and the carbon atom in the methane becomes Carbon dioxide. Carbon Dioxide is a greenhouse gas and is one of the contributors to global warming.

Burning methane excessively results in a significant release of carbon dioxide into the environment, and the natural absorption of carbon dioxide by plants and trees is unable to establish an equilibrium which causes global warming.


Natural Gas is a gas that is compressed in a cylinder for easy transportation and storage. There is a knob which controls the flow of the gas to prevent explosion.

The problem is that if the knob had some mechanical failure then the gas will be leaked. The leaked gas in a closed environment like a car or our kitchen can easily catch fire and result in cylinder blasts.


Natural Gas can only be stored in a cylinder or can be transported through a pipeline. The pipeline is an expensive project and would require billions of dollars to do that. A cylinder, however, is the cheaper option but takes up a lot of space in the kitchen, car, etc.

No Smell

Natural Gas does not have any smell to it which can make it fatal in case of a leak. When natural gases are processed especially for cooking purposes, the gas is purposely added with a pungent smell to ensure that in case of a leak, the pungent smell can be detected.

Long Processing Required

The processing of Natural Gas requires huge infrastructure, manpower, and multiple other safety protocols to ensure required. All this causes a longer processing time also, Natural gas has a lot of other components which has to be removed so that it meets the standards for usage.


What is the difference between Natural Gas and Gasoline?

Natural Gas is a gas that is mainly composed of methane gas which has hydrogen whereas gasoline is made up of carbon compounds. Natural Gas is a naturally occurring gas and the gasoline is extracted by processing Crude Oil.

Can we use Natural gas for cooking?

Yes, you can use natural Gas for Cooking. In India, the Natural Gas used for cooking is supplied by a Pipeline called PNG or Pipeline Natural Gas. It is a subscription-based model like electricity which comes with a bill.  

What is Butane used for?

Butane is a Natural gas hydrocarbon compound that is highly flammable. It is mostly used in cigarette lighters and portable stoves, as a propellant in aerosols, heating fuel, refrigerant, and in the manufacture of a wide range of products.

What is the Full form of LPG?

LPG stands for Liquid Petroleum Gas which is extracted by processing the crude oil. It is not a naturally occurring oil, it comes out as a byproduct of processing the crude oil. LPG is available to purchase in LPG cylinder form and is usually provided at a subsidized amount as it is the main fuel for cooking. You can give up the LPG subsidy as a goodwill gesture to ensure the needy get their subsidy.

What is the Full Form of CNG?

CNG Stands for Compressed Natural Gas and as the name suggests it is a natural gas that is available in the cylinder format. CNG is primarily used in cars as a source of fuel.

Which gas is cheaper LPG or CNG?

CNG is relatively cheaper than LPG because CNG does not require a lot of processing whereas, LPG requires multi-step processing which increases the cost.