This paper presents briefly material which is closely related to the natural gas industry. It is not a comprehensive treatment of the topics included nor does it include discussions of underlying engineering principles. More complete knowledge of the topics treated may be acquired by consulting the references given in footnotes.
Natural gas, coal, and petroleum are the principal sources of primary mineral fuels. On them, next to fertility of the soil, rest the foundations of economic progress. The industry is most highly developed in the United States, and there most of the commercially utilized deposits of natural gas are located.
Natural gases are phenomena of nature found in rocks. Neither their origin nor the amount and extent of their supplies are known. There are several types and many varieties of natural gases, but in this paper the term “natural gas” is used in the trade sense to include all varieties in which the paraffine series of hydrocarbons predominate.
Natural gas of commerce is a hydrocarbon mixture generally containing other gaseous substances, some of which are inflammable, some non-inflammable, and others corrosive in their natural and combustion states. The average composition of pipe-line gas, as it is delivered to consumers, is as follows.
The gaseous hydrocarbon constituents of commercial natural gas, at ordinary temperatures and pressures as it issues from wells, are principally methane (CH4) and ethane (C2H4), but varying amounts of propane (C3H8) and butane (C4H10) may be present as gases. The higher members, pentane (C5H12), hexane (C6H14), heptane (C7H16),