The treatment

If the natural gas from the field is wet, it undergoes a preliminary conditioning to separate methane from the other gaseous hydrocarbons such as propane, butane and ethane. The separation is simplified by the fact that methane is marked by a much lower critical temperature (above which gas cannot be liquefied). The amount of wet gases available on the market is very large since gas extracted along with oil is always wet. After being liquefied, humid gases are bottled for household uses in 10/15 kg containers or bigger bottles for industrial purposes. Methane is distributed through the pipeline networks
Albeit rarely, the methane from some fields needs to be purified. The most damaging impurity undoubtedly is sulphur because it produces sulphur dioxide during combustion and when the weather is humid it causes acid rain, responsible for lung diseases, the deterioration of plants and anything being exposed to it. Sometimes the gas extracted contains precious substances too, such as helium, used to make airships fly and mixed with oxygen in scuba-diving bottles.
Although extraction is simple and the quality of natural gas as a fossil fuel is high (also from the environmental viewpoint), up to the second world war the use of methane was very limited.

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