Dec 03, 2020People & Industry

How Australian Gas Delivers the Goods

The gas industry is a critical component of Australia’s energy mix. Nearly 70% of Australian homes use gas as a major energy source, whether it be through the national grid or by bottled alternatives. In addition, natural gas accounts for nearly a quarter of Australia’s primary energy use.

But gas isn’t just a convenient way to heat our homes, water supplies and cookers (though these are all important); many Australian companies also rely on gas as a critical raw material for manufacturing.

It is a vital component of several chemicals common to the manufacturing industry, such as propane, butane, methanol, acetic acid (mixed with water to make vinegar), and ammonia. These and other chemicals can then be used to create all sorts of products.

In fact, about one-third of all gas consumed in Australia is used by the manufacturing industry to help create all sorts of products essential to our modern way of life, including anti-freeze, plastics, pharmaceuticals, fabrics, and fertilisers.

Natural gas is also useful to manufacturers to create heat for industrial processes, as the properties of gas are conducive to quick, accurate heat generation with minimal wasted energy. This makes it ideal for ‘hot work’, which means processes like melting, baking, fusing, smelting, welding, brazing, glazing, and a cornucopia of other heat-related activities.

Heat from gas is also used to help fashion glass, cement, steel, ceramics, paper, food, and many other commodities. It heats kilns to make bricks, and heats furnaces to make metal and glass. It is also widely used to heat stills, used by distillers and perfumers to make drinks and fragrances. This means there’s a good chance your favourite Scotch, gin, or cologne (and the bottle it comes in) owes a debt to gas, so why not raise a glass?