Home
Introduction
Natural Gas
 •What Is Natural Gas
 •Slide Show (Flash)
 •History
 •Deposit Formation
 •Exploration
 •Distribution
 •Storage (Flash)
 •Uses
Science
Environment
Safety
Safety Games (Flash)
Interactive Activities
Printable Activities
SaskEnergy & TransGas
Links

Uses

  • Natural gas provides about 92% (as of 2002) of the homes in Saskatchewan with clean, inexpensive, efficient heating fuel. As well as home heating, natural gas can also be used in hot water heaters, fireplaces, clothes dryers, and kitchen appliances, such as stoves and cook tops. Outdoor uses of natural gas around the home include barbecues, pool heaters, patio heaters, and campfires.

  • On the farm natural gas is used to run grain dryers, irrigation systems, cutting torches, stand-by generators, and radiant heating. In irrigation systems, natural gas can be used to run the engines.

  • Cars, trucks, buses and other vehicles, such as ice resurfacers and forklifts, can be adapted to use natural gas as a fuel instead of gasoline. SaskEnergy is using natural gas as a fuel in some of its vehicles Several school buses in Nipawin, Kamsack, Pelly, Lumsden and Balgonie use clean-burning natural gas for fuel.

  • Natural gas is used in commercial kitchens in fryers, dishwashers, steam kettles, grills, and other commercial cooking equipment.

  • Other commercial uses for natural gas are to run clothes dryers in laundromats, ice plants for skating rinks, air conditioning for large buildings, and in steam boilers to run a wide variety of steam and hot water energy systems.

  • Natural gas is an essential fuel for many industries. It is used to produce steel, glass, paper, clothing, brick, electricity, and much more.

  • Natural gas is used (in hydrogen reformers) to produce hydrogen. Hydrogen is used to produce fertilizer, purify heavy oil, and used to make hydrogenated products.

Electrical Generation

Natural gas is one of the many important fuels used for generating electricity. In a cogeneration plant, natural gas is used to run an engine or turbine that drives the generator to produce electricity. The waste heat from the engine or turbine is used by the owner to heat water or make steam for a wide variety of uses. Because the system produces both electricity and useful heat, it is called a cogeneration system and is more efficient than producing the same amount of electricity and heat with separate systems.

Natural gas is also used to generate electricity "on demand" or when small amounts of power are required quickly, because natural gas generators can start and stop quickly and automatically. Examples are grid peak loads and emergency stand-by generators.