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Methane was first synthesized from carbon and hydrogen in 1904 by a Russian-American chemist, Vladimir Ipatiev (1867-1952).[1]


Methane is the major component of natural gas, about 87% by volume. At room temperature and standard pressure, methane is a colorless, odorless gas;[2] the smell characteristic of natural gas as used in homes is an artificial safety measure caused by the addition of an odorant, often methanethiol]] or ethanethiol. Methane has a boiling point of −161 °C (−257.8 °F) at a pressure of one Atmosphere (unit)|atmosphere.[3] As a gas it is flammable only over a narrow range of concentrations (5–15%) in air. Liquid methane does not burn unless subjected to high pressure (normally 4–5 atmospheres).[4]

Quick Facts[edit]

Name: Methane

Formula: CH4

Melting Point:

Boiling Point: -161.6 celsius


Molar Mass:

Shape: tetrahedryl


  1. [1]
  2. David A. Hensher, Kenneth J. Button (2003). Handbook of transport and the environment. Emerald Group Publishing. p. 168. ISBN 0080441033. 
  3. NIST Chemistry Webbook
  4. Ayhan Demirbas (2010). Methane Gas Hydrate. Springer. p. 102. ISBN 1848828713. 

See Also[edit]