natural gas

This is how natural gas gets turned into plastics

Sep 16, 2016
Heartlover1717 via Flickr

When Shell Chemical announced earlier this year it would building an ethane cracker in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, it no doubt left many wondering: What exactly is an ethane cracker?

Though an ethane cracker is a pretty high-tech facility, the basic concept is fairly simple: It takes ethane — a gas that’s commonly found mixed in with oil and natural gas deposits — and turns it into the building blocks of plastics.

To learn exactly how that’s done, we called up Goetz Veser, a chemist at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering.

Making energy from waste: the other natural gas

Feb 17, 2016
Rebecca Jacobson / Inside Energy

Every day, a facility on the outskirts of Grand Junction, Colorado, takes in 8 million gallons of what people have flushed down their toilets and washed down their sinks. The water coming out the other end of the Persigo Wastewater Treatment Plant is cleaner than the Colorado River it flows into.

The organic solids strained from that water are now serving a new purpose -- producing fuel for city vehicles.

Pipeline fight puts focus on Federal agency

Sep 22, 2015


The Constitution Pipeline almost passed through Cindy Beach’s backyard. But the route changed - now, the pipeline will be about two football fields away from Beach’s house in the Village of Franklin in Delaware County. 

To get the change, she asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, if it was possible to bypass her small property. But one neighbor wasn’t so lucky; Beach says the pipeline company is taking part of his property by eminent domain.

With fracking banned, pipelines are at the center of the natural gas debate in New York State. That puts one particular federal agency--the FERC--in the middle of the controversy.


Oneonta residents split on NED pipeline proposal

Jul 17, 2015


Federal regulators held a public hearing last night on a proposed natural gas pipeline that would run through several upstate New York counties. Energy company Kinder Morgan wants to build the Northeast Energy Direct Pipeline to funnel gas from Pennsylvania to the East Coast.

There are four compressor stations proposed for New York State along the pipeline route.

Over a hundred people attended the hearing in Oneonta and several gave passionate statements.

WATCH: Stephentown residents say 'no' to NED pipeline

Mar 26, 2015
sign with American Flag and blue letters 'united we are stong we can stop the pipeline'
Jenna Flanagan / Innovation Trail

The meeting room at the Stephentown Volunteer Fire Hall was filled to capacity for a public hearing about the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline project.

The proposed gas line would pump highly pressured natural gas, fracked in Pennsylvania, through large pipes buried a few feet underground through Stephentown and into Massachusetts.

One by one town residents got up and told board members in no uncertain terms that they were against the Texas based company Kinder Morgan expanding the capacity of the interstate Tennessee pipeline through their community.