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One World Essay

  • Date Submitted: 11/25/2013 04:29 AM
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One world essay: Methane

Figure 1: Atomic Structure of Methane
Figure 1: Atomic Structure of Methane
Methane otherwise known as CH4 is a chemical compound. It is a colorless natural gas and is also highly flammable (Encyclopedia, Britannica). It’s the simplest alkane and the main component of natural gas. Its molar mass is approximately 16g. Although methane is not commonly used in daily life but is generally piped into houses to use as domestic heating and cooking purposes.

Methane has a boiling point of -259 degrees and a melting point of -296.6 degrees. As you can see in Figure 1 there is a carbon atom central to the methane molecule, which has 4 valence electrons and needs 4 more electrons from 4 hydrogen atoms to make it stable. Methane is a chemical compound that is important to the earth in some ways. If you remove one hydrogen atom from a molecule of methane, you will get –CH3-a functional group called the “methyl group”

Methane in the atmosphere is oxidized, producing carbon dioxide and water. It is the most reactive trace gas in the atmosphere. The atmospheric concentration of methane has increased.
Figure 2: Frozen Methane found in outer space
Figure 2: Frozen Methane found in outer space

Alessandro Volta discovered methane in 1776 and 1778. Methane is scientifically important because it plays important roles to the earths atmosphere. Methane contributes to the survival of plants radiative energy and global atmosheric chemistry. It was noticed in the atmoshere in 1948 from features in the infared absorption spectrum and is now measured properly (Melton, 2007). Methane is Figure 3: Natural and Man-made production of Methane
Figure 3: Natural and Man-made production of Methane
found in natural gas fields such as wetlands and oceans around the world along with plants and animals. As you can see in Figure 3 Methane is also found in anthropogenic areas such as rice cultivation, coal mining, biomass burning etc.

Methane impacts society...

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