Natural gas is a combustible mixture of hydrocarbon gases. While natural gas is formed primarily of methane, it can also include ethane, propane, butane and pentane. The composition of natural gas can vary widely, but below is a chart outlining the typical makeup of natural gas before it is refined.
|Typical Composition of Natural Gas
||A, He, Ne, Xe
In its purest form, such as the natural gas that is delivered to your home, it is almost pure methane. Methane is a molecule made up of one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms, and is referred to as CH4. The distinctive smell that we often associate with natural gas is actually an odorant called mercaptan that is added to the gas before it is delivered to the end-user. Mercaptan aids in detecting any leaks.