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methane

Methane (CH4) is a chemical substance found in a high percentage in natural gas. It is also a common byproduct of digestion in humans and animals. It is also known as “marsh gas” or “swamp gas” because it is produced when vegetation decomposes in water. Methane is lighter than air and is extremely volatile/flammable. It tends to dissipate quickly, but a large enough concentration can displace breathable air.

Naturally colorless and odorless, methane is deadly in high concentrations and is one of the “greenhouse gases”.

This gas can be produced more efficiently and captured through the use of a biodigester and then burned to create either heat or electricity.

A tragic example of how deadly methane is occurred on July 2, 2007, when a Mennonite farmer climbed into a manure pit to fix a clogged pipe. Unbeknown to him, methane gas existed in that pit and it almost instantly killed him. A farm hand, also unaware of the existence of the methane gas, rushed in to help the farmer and then immediately died himself. The farmer's wife and two of his daughters rushed in to help; they inhaled the methane gas and also died immediately.<ref>http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl?id=2007_4378567</ref>

Biodigesters

Biodigesters are simple air-tight containers that provide ideal conditions for organic matter to decay and produce methane. Digesters generally have a stirring mechanism, a gas outlet pipe with a check valve, and an input hopper for more organic matter.

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Use of Methane

Methane is burned to produce heat direct, such as with a gas stove or heat, or can be used in an internal combustion engine to produce electricity.

See Also

References

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Energy

methane.txt · Last modified: 2020/03/12 18:36 (external edit)