Working and Learning from Home Thanks to Natural Gas and its Byproducts | Energy Transfer

March marks one year since the pandemic caused many Americans to call their living rooms, dining rooms and spare bedrooms their new “temporary” offices, and kids and parents have learned to adapt to uncertain school schedules and a virtual learning environment.

We are all eager to get back to the office, but for now, firing up the laptop while sipping our morning coffee or getting our kids to focus on an online lesson has become second nature. What most people don’t realize is that natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs) play an integral role in enabling all of us to cope and stay productive during the pandemic.

 

While most people are familiar with the well-known uses of natural gas and NGLs such as heating and cooking with propane, few are aware of the truly diverse uses of these products and byproducts in our everyday lives.

Propane is used to produce propylene and polypropylene, which are raw materials that manufacturers rely on to make vital medical devices and products we use every day. In previous blog posts, we’ve highlighted how the oil and natural gas industry is fueling the fight against the pandemic and playing an integral role in vaccine distribution.

Other products made possible by natural gas and NGLs are all around us. They have become a part of our new daily routines — from our morning shower to our binge-watching sessions.

When we squeeze our toothpaste tube in the morning, or shampoo or body wash bottle, the container’s material likely was derived from a byproduct of natural gas. Natural gas also makes it possible to power our laptop to start the workday or check in for virtual learning. Computers and laptops contain many components made from propane, including keyboards, charging cords, the mouse and more. Our cellphones, earbuds and noise-canceling headphones to drown out our in-house “co-workers” are all made from natural gas byproducts as well.

Unwinding at the end of the day with TV or video games? Our TVs, game consoles and controllers are all made from natural gas.

Natural gas and NGLs are all around us in the products we use for our work, our education, our hobbies and our well-being. Our lives would look much different if manufacturers didn’t have access to these resources that truly make our everyday lives possible.