Tag Archives: methane

The Hazmat of Pre-Refined Gas and a House Explosion

Map of oil and gas wells in Colorado. Click on the map to link to the interactive map. From the Denver Post.

Pre-refined gas is a mixture of methane and propane that comes from natural gas wells. Pre-refined means that it hasn’t yet been refined into natural gas for energy. It is an extremely flammable gas and a hazard that is managed in the oil and gas industry. It’s not something you should have to worry about blowing up your home. Unfortunately a pipeline leaked this gas into a house in Firestone, CO. The house was built only a few hundred feet from a natural gas well. The leaking gas ignited in the house and the explosion killed 2 people. You can read more about this tragedy here. I’ve been asked about this several times since it happened. Therefore, here’s the basic how and why. Continue reading

The Hazards of Methane and Coal Processing

See the flame? That’s gas flaring at an oil refinery.

Methane emissions and coal mining have received attention from the current Federal government administration. You can read about the regulations and policy here, here, or here. Instead of rehashing all of that, I want to take a look at the hazardous properties of these chemicals. Let’s get a little hazmat’ish today and address the hazards of methane and coal processing chemicals.

First, I breakdown the health and environmental impacts of methane. Methane emissions can be part of the gas flaring at oil and gas production sites. Then I look at a few of the chemicals involved in coal processing. They are the unsaid, and often unknown, part of “clean coal.” Continue reading