Methane is the main component of natural gas, as it contains 50-90% of methane, and fossil fuels as well. Methane is an invisible, odorless, combustible gas that is present in trace amounts in the atmosphere.
The molecule consists of one carbon atom bonded to four hydrogen atoms (CH4), which makes methane the simplest member of a chemical family known as hydrocarbons, including ethane (C2H6), propane (C3H8), and butane (C4H10).
|What is methane?|
methane gas sources
Methane is an element of flammable gases, produced in nature through anaerobic bacterial decomposition of plant matter underwater, so it is sometimes called (marsh gas). , and methane hydrate deposits that occur along the continental margins and under the ice in Antarctica and the Arctic, and it is indicated that the digestive processes carried out by termites release methane as well, and constitute livestock, such as sheep, goats, camels, cattle, and buffaloes account for 15 percent of methane emissions annually. By eating grass, they have unique advantages, due to the presence of bacteria in their stomachs that help break down nutrients and generate methane as a by-product.
Methane comes from the earth and can come from the human body. It is non-toxic and can be harnessed as an energy source. However, there are risks that must be dealt with, including:
- blast: Methane can become an explosive when mixed with other chemicals. It can be deadly if it ignites when it reaches high levels and concentrations. Natural methane, especially underground, may cause sharp explosions that cause devastating effects on mine or oil exploration activities.
- Choking: Although methane is not toxic, it may lead to minor suffocation, as it can replace oxygen, which the body needs to breathe, and there are no standards governing the amount of methane allowed in the air in the home or workplace, but The minimum oxygen content for anywhere people need to breathe is 18%.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning: Burning natural gas without proper ventilation can produce carbon monoxide, a deadly gas that is difficult to detect, knowing that relatively low levels of carbon monoxide can cause dizziness and nausea within 20 minutes, which leads to death within 20 minutes. In two hours, higher levels lead to death within three minutes, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that carbon monoxide poisoning kills 500 people each year.