Natural gas is a fossil fuel created when high pressure deep under the surface of the earth compresses organic matter. It is an odorless, colorless mix of methane and other hydrocarbon gases including ethane, propane, butane and pentane. Natural gas burns cleanly compared to other fossil fuels.
The Chinese used natural gas as early as 500 B.C. to boil sea water for desalination. By the 18th century, natural gas was a common means of lighting houses and streetlamps in England. As of 2015, people use natural gas for heating, generating electricity and powering vehicles. Natural gas is a non-renewable resource.