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Author: Ray Webb
Source: 1977 Gulf Coast Measurement Short Course (Now called ASGMT)
Year Published: 1977
Abstract: Most natural gas as carried by pipeline companies for consumption in our homes and factories is composed predominantly of methane and ethane hydrocarbons. These components and the other light hydrocarbons are odorless. The detection of leaks in pipelines usually depends on the human senses such as smell, sight, sound and feel. Since most pipelines are buried or under buildings, etc., leaks cannot be detected by sound, feel or sight, and if the gas is odorless, not by smell. As early as 1800, German scientists began experimenting with additives to gas streams to promote an odor along with the normally odorless gases, A large portion of the natural gas produced from wells does contain sulfur and mercaptans that have odor however, in the treating and processing of gas, most of these odor producing elements are removed. It then becomes necessary to add odorant compounds to the gas streams.