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What is natural gas?

Natural gas is a fuel that's used to heat buildings, cook food, dry clothes, heat water and even to help produce electricity. It's sometimes called "gas" for short, but don't confuse it with the gasoline that runs your car. Gasoline is a liquid, while natural gas guessed it...a gas!

In fact, natural gas is really a mixture of gases that formed from the decayed remains of ancient plants and animals buried deep in the earth. The main ingredient in natural gas is methane.

Methane is colorless, odorless and lighter than air. It gives off a lot of heat and light when it burns, but doesn't produce smoke. That makes natural gas a good fuel for use in the home. Today, more than half the homes in the U.S. are heated by natural gas.

Natural gas is a popular fuel choice because it burns cleaner, hotter and brighter than other fossil fuels like coal and oil. It's also reliable. Because natural gas pipes are buried safely underground, you aren't likely to lose service during stormy weather.

In what three states are fossils fuels found?

Natural gas. A gas used as a fuel, which is formed naturally in the earth when organic material decomposes under pressure.
Liquid. A substance whose molecules are in constant, random motion but do not move as fast as those in a gas. A liquid can take on the shape of its container but keeps the same volume, no matter what container it's in.
Gas. A substance whose molecules are randomly moving so quickly that the molecules easily separate from one another. Gases will spread out and take on the shape and volume of whatever they are in - a jar, a room, or the atmosphere.
Methane. A hydrocarbon gas that is the main ingredient in natural gas. Methane molecules each contain one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms.
Fossil fuels. Coal, oil, and natural gas are known as fossil fuels because they were formed from the remains of animals or plants that lived long ago.
Coal. A fossil fuel consisting of black or brown rock that is taken out of the ground at large mines.
Oil. A fossil fuel in liquid form that is obtained through wells drilled deep in the earth.