The concentration of methane in the Earth’s atmosphere has increased by about 150% since the 1750s. And it accounts for 20% of global greenhouse gases.
Methane has many different applications but the main one is still as a fuel source. The resulting products of burning methane in the presence of O2 are CO2 (carbon dioxide) and H2O (water):
CH4 + 2 O2 → CO2 + 2 H2O
Methane is a greenhouse gas and in fact, on average, every 100 years, 1 kilogram of CH4 can make the Earth hotter 25 times more than the same amount of CO2. This gas has been detected in several places in the Solar System or the thin atmosphere on the Moon as well as in interstellar clouds in the universe.
What is the composition and property of Methane?
About the link between the molecules in methane:
Methane is a tetrahedral molecule with four equivalent C-H bonds.
The physical properties of methane gas:
At standard room temperature and pressure, methane is a colorless, odorless gas. It is very flammable, creates a blue flame when burned. Methane ignites rapidly within the concentration range (5.4-17%) at standard air pressure. But people often add to it odorants such as mixture of tert-butyl thiol when using it in many fields because it is easily detected if there is a leak.
- Liquefaction temperature of Methane: −162°C
- Solidification temperature of Methane: −183°C
- /Density: 0.717 kg/m3
Methane does not form hydrogen bonds, so it is insoluble in polar solvents such as water. It is only soluble in non-polar solvents. Methane is not conductive.
Chemical reaction of methane:
The main chemical reactions of methane are the combustion reaction, reaction with water vapor to create hydrogen gas, combustion reaction with oxygen, decomposition reaction to produce acetylene C2H2 and halogenated or substituted with halogens. chlorine, bromine. In addition, it also has acid-base reactions
History and origin of methane gas:
A physicist named Alessandro Volta determined that methane gas existed in the swamps of Lake Maggiore in Italy and Switzerland in November 1776.
The reason why this physicist decided to look for this gas was he had read an article about flammable air by Benjamin Franklin, then Volta proceeded to collect this gas from the swamp.
And two years later, he isolated a pure gas and proved that it is very flammable.
The name Methane was officially recognized. from methanol by the German chemist August Wilhelm von Hofmann.
From 1750 to 1998:
Methane gas in the atmosphere causes greenhouse effect. The density of the gas has increased by about 150% since the 1750s and by 1998, the average concentration of CH4 on the Earth’s surface was 1745 ppb.
The concentration of methane gas in the Northern Hemisphere is higher than elsewhere because there are more sources of methane (both natural and man-made). Methane density changes from season to season and it is lowest at the end of summer.
At such great pressure at the bottom of ocean, methane gas combines with water to form a solid sieve called methane hydrate. A lot of methane is probably trapped in this form at the seabed.
The sudden release of a large volume of methane gas from those places into the atmosphere is considered a hypothesis about the cause of the global warming in the past or at a peak of about 55 million years ago.
Scientists have estimated methane hydrate reserves on the ocean floor at about 10 million million tons (10 exagram).
The hypothesis is that if the Earth’s temperature rises to a certain temperature, all of this stored methane suddenly released into the atmosphere once again, it could amplify the greenhouse effect and cause the Earth to heat up so many more times than ever before.
NEW FINDINGS ON METHANE GAS
Recently, there are some studies in arctic waters have demonstrated that methane has the ability to reduce global warming. This is the exact opposite of what we know above, so why did they get this result?
According to this research result, when methane gas is released from the seabed, it will increase the absorption of CO2 in seawater. According to preliminary assessment of scientists, benefits from CO2 absorption from the atmosphere are about 230 times greater than the warming effect from methane emissions.
However, these results are only obtained in a few limited areas. Hopefully these scientific studies will open up a new effective way to reduce the greenhouse effect.
Methane gas is toxic or not?
Methane is a non-toxic gas, but it is a very flammable gas and when reacting with the air, it can form explosive mixtures. Methane is highly reactive with oxidizing substances, halogens, and some halogenated chemical compounds.
Methane also poses a danger to humans when handling it in an enclosed space. It will cause an unpleasant itch if the oxygen concentration in the surrounding air drops below 16%.
The information above is about methane CH4. Hopefully, you will have a better overview of what methane is, the history of formation, properties and applications of Methane CH4 through this article.
Delivery process Methane gas
About the transportation, delivery and use of methane
Methane is widely used in many processes of industrial chemical field. It can be transported in liquid form (liquefied, or LNG)
Methane gas is transported in gas cylinders with various capacities: 40 – 47 – 50 liters under the cylinder pressure of 250 bar or 150 bar.