A Report On Methane: Sources, Discovery, And Dangers


Methane is a natural gas found all around the world and is used in many stoves and gas taps. It is a highly flammable gas and is completely invisible and is extremely dangerous. Methane is one of the most commonly used gasses I the whole entire world. It is a chemical compound called CH4 made up of for hydrogen atoms and one carbon atom. Methane is used in global warming.

Dangers of methane

  1. Explosion
  2. Methane is extremely dangerous as when it is mixed with other gasses as it can cause big explosions. Methane found sometimes naturally underground can cause many oil rigs or mines to explosive if exposed to a naked flame. Methane can also cause a horrible smell like rotten egg which shows that the methane levels are high and can cause explosions.

  3. Asphyxiation
  4. Although usually methane is not really dangerous, but when it displaces oxygen it can become really dangerous like when the oxygen levels reach just 16% it is dangerous but it can displace oxygen in some cases and make oxygen levels 10% which is really dangerous for people as it could smother them causing people to choke to death or simply not get enough oxygen to their lungs.

  5. Carbon Monoxide poisoning
  6. Methane on its own isn’t dangerous but when it is gets the chance to mix with other gasses it becomes a lot more poisonous and deadlier. When Methane is burned anywhere without proper ventilation it can cause a gas to form called Carbon Monoxide. Carbon Monoxide can enter your body through breathing it in and cause nausea within in 20 minutes and within 120 minutes it could be fatal and result in death.

  7. Greenhouse gas
  8. Although major gasses are mostly mentioned in the greenhouse affect like Carbon dioxide or Carbon Monoxide. What we really should be thinking about when we talk about global warming is methane as it s still a huge problem. It has a global warming potential of 28 over a 100-year timeframe. This means a ton of methane of takes up 28 times as much thermal energy as carbon dioxide which shows how dangerous this gas is and its potential risk. This is very dangerous as 90% of all-natural gas is around 90% methane which shows how fatal it could be and how it will increase the temperatures of our planet with the amount of thermal energy it takes on board.

Where Does it Come From?

Wetlands Natural wetlands are responsible for at least 76% of all methane from natural sources. This means wetlands get us around 145Tg of methane annually. Wetlands produce Methane during the decomposition of organic materials. But the bacteria require specific needs like zero oxygen and lots of organic mater both of which are always present in wetland conditions.


Emissions of termites are responsible for over 11% of all the global emissions that’s nearly 20Tg annually. It is usually produced in termites as a section of their digestion process. Overall emissions of the termites usually depend on the population of the insects which can vary as when the population goes down so does the amount of methane produced per year by the insects.


Oceans take slightly less responsibility for the global amount of methane produced from natural resources but delivers a solid 8% just above hydrates, that’s 15Tg of Methane overall. It is made in oceans in two different ways called anaerobic digestion in marine zooplankton and marine life, and it is also made from methanogenesis in sediments and drainage systems near the coast.


Hydrates is one of the smallest natural global emissions coming in around 5% around 10Tg of methane annually. Methane hydrates are solids containing areas of water molecules that contain molecules of methane. This solid can be usually found at the bottom of the underground bit in oceans in polar regions. Methane can be let go from hydrates in temperature, pressure, salt concentrations and more. Overall the full amount of methane in these hydrates is very big and there is potential for large amounts of methane to be released in these hydrates. Scientists are still figuring out ways to see how the ocean changes affect these hydrates.

How was Methane discovered?

Methane gas was discovered by a man called Alessandro Volta who was an Italian physicist born in 1745 and died in 1827 and was said to be an electrical science pioneer and a voltaic pile pioneer. He discovered while on a boat trip whilst going along some reeds near Angera. He then started poking the bottom of the muddy bottom with a stick and started to notice bubbles coming up from the water and collected some of it from the water and experimented on it. He then found the gas was inflammable and named the gas we nowadays call methane “inflammable air from marshlands”. From this he then invented a device called Volta’s pistol which was a device that had methane mixed with other gasses that exploded.


In Conclusion I believe that Methane is a very useful gas andwould delay a lot of what we do today without it. I believe it gets the recognition it deserves but is not quite yet up they’re with gasses like Oxygen or Hydrogen but is still very useful.

15 Jun 2020
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