Methane - Research Article from World of Scientific Discovery

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 4 pages of information about Methane.
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Methane

Methane (CH4), the simplest of all organic compounds, is produced when organic matter is digested by bacteria in the absence of air, creating natural gas. This gas contains from 50 percent to 90 percent methane. Most natural gas lies with coal and oil deposits buried deep beneath the earth and is a product of the decomposition of ancient swamps and bogs. Like coal and oil, it is especially useful as a fuel for cooking, heating, and even the operation of some motor vehicles. Many factory furnaces burn methane gas, and utilities use it to generate electricity. Methane is also a key raw material for making solvents and other organic chemicals. It was first synthesized from carbon and hydrogen in 1904 by a Russian-American chemist, Vladimir Ipatiev (1867-1952). The gas is colorless, odorless, and nontoxic; when mixed with oxygen, it burns readily with a pale, slightly luminous flame.

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This section contains 929 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Methane Encyclopedia Article
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Methane from World of Scientific Discovery. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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