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Natural gas is similar to air you cant see it, smell it, or taste it. But it is different, too. It has a lot of energy in it. You can burn it to make heat. The early Chinese burned natural gas for heat to separate salt from sea water. Natural gas is a fossil fuel. Natural gas was formed in the earth millions of years ago, before the dinosaurs. Oceans covered much of the earth, filled with tiny sea plants and animals. When the plants and animals died, they sank to the bottom and were covered by sand. Layers of dead plants, animals, and sand built up over time and turned into sedimentary rock. Heat from the earth and pressure from the rock layers above turned the remains of the plants and animals into natural gas and petroleum. Since natural gas is made from the remains of plants and animals, it is called a fossil fuel. The plants and animals received their energy when they were alive from the sun. It was stored in them when they died. This is the energy in natural gas. Natural gas is nonrenewable. The natural gas we use today took millions of years to form. That's why we call it a nonrenewable energy source. We cant make more in a short time. Someday, most of the natural gas we can reach by drilling underground will be gone. Garbage sometimes produces methane, the main gas in natural gas, as it rots. Methane from rotting garbage is a renewable energy source because there will always be garbage. PAGE 18 Elementary Energy Info book...
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