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Methane
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Methane
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CH4
Methane

Physical Properties

Under solid (grey), liquid (blue) and vapor states (white) along the equilibrium curves

  • General properties
  • Solid phase
  • Liquid Phase
  • Gas Phase
(P)
log(P)
Download
  • Molecular weight
    16.043
    g/mol
  • Content in air
    2
    ppm
    2 ppm 2.E-4 vol/% 2.E-6 vol/vol

Critical Point

  • Temperature
    - 82.59
    °C
    - 116.662 °F 190.56 K
  • Pressure
    45.99
    bar
    4.599E6 pa 667.0283 lbf/in2 45.3886 Atm 4599 Kpa 3.4495E4 mmHg
  • Density
    162.7
    kg/m³
    10.157 lb/ft³

Triple Point

  • Temperature
    - 182.46
    °C
    - 296.428 °F 90.69 K
  • Pressure
    1.1696E-1
    bar
    1.1696E4 pa 1.6964 lbf/in2 1.1543E-1 Atm 11.696 Kpa 87.7275 mmHg
Pressure 1.013 bar
  • Melting point
    - 182.46
    °C
    - 296.428 °F 90.69 K
  • Latent heat of fusion (at melting point)
    58.682
    kJ/kg
    25.2457 Btu/lb 14.0253 kcal/kg
  • Solid density
    /
Pressure 1.013 bar
  • Liquid density
    422.36
    kg/m³
    26.367 lb/ft³
  • Boiling point
    - 161.48
    °C
    - 258.664 °F 111.67 K
  • Latent heat of vaporization (at boiling point)
    510.83
    kJ/kg
    219.7648 Btu/lb 122.0913 kcal/kg
Pressure1.013barTemperature
  • Compressibility factor Z
    9.9761E-1
    9.9802E-1
    9.9825E-1
  • Cp/Cv ratio γ
    1.3164
    1.3104
    1.3062
  • Dynamic viscosity
    1.0245E-4
    Po
    10.245 µPa.s 1.0245E-5 PA.S 6.8843E-6 lb/ft/s
    1.0741E-4
    Po
    10.741 µPa.s 1.0741E-5 PA.S 7.2176E-6 lb/ft/s
    1.1067E-4
    Po
    11.067 µPa.s 1.1067E-5 PA.S 7.4367E-6 lb/ft/s
  • Gas density at boiling point
    1.816
    kg/m³
    1.1337E-1 lb/ft³
    1.816
    kg/m³
    1.1337E-1 lb/ft³
    1.816
    kg/m³
    1.1337E-1 lb/ft³
  • Gas density
    7.173E-1
    kg/m³
    4.4779E-2 lb/ft³
    6.797E-1
    kg/m³
    4.2432E-2 lb/ft³
    6.567E-1
    kg/m³
    4.0996E-2 lb/ft³
  • Heat capacity at constant pressure Cp
    2.181
    kJ/(kg.K)
    5.2128E-1 BTU/lb∙°F 2181.014 J/kg∙K 5.2128E-1 kcal/kg∙K
    2.2094
    kJ/(kg.K)
    5.2805E-1 BTU/lb∙°F 2209.375 J/kg∙K 5.2805E-1 kcal/kg∙K
    2.2316
    kJ/(kg.K)
    5.3337E-1 BTU/lb∙°F 2231.628 J/kg∙K 5.3337E-1 kcal/kg∙K
  • Heat capacity at constant volume Cv
    1.6567E-1
    kJ/(kg.K)
    3.9597E-2 BTU/lb∙°F 165.674 J/kg∙K 3.9597E-2 kcal/kg∙K
    1.6864
    kJ/(kg.K)
    4.0306E-1 BTU/lb∙°F 1686.405 J/kg∙K 4.0306E-1 kcal/kg∙K
    1.7085
    kJ/(kg.K)
    4.0835E-1 BTU/lb∙°F 1708.533 J/kg∙K 4.0835E-1 kcal/kg∙K
  • Liquid (at boiling point)/gas equivalent
    588.82
    mol/mol
    621.4
    mol/mol
    643.12
    mol/mol
  • Solubility in water
    /
    3.122E-5
    mol/mol
    2.552E-5
    mol/mol
  • Specific gravity
    0.56
    0.56
    0.56
  • Specific volume
    1.3942
    m³/kg
    22.3329 ft³/lb
    1.4713
    m³/kg
    23.568 ft³/lb
    1.5227
    m³/kg
    24.3913 ft³/lb
  • Thermal conductivity
    30.57
    mW/m∙K
    1.7675E-2 Btu/ft/h/°F 2.6303E-1 cal/hour∙cm∙°C 7.3064E-5 cal/s∙cm∙°C 3.057E-2 W/(m∙K)
    32.563
    mW/m∙K
    1.8827E-2 Btu/ft/h/°F 2.8018E-1 cal/hour∙cm∙°C 7.7827E-5 cal/s∙cm∙°C 3.2563E-2 W/(m∙K)
    33.931
    mW/m∙K
    1.9618E-2 Btu/ft/h/°F 2.9195E-1 cal/hour∙cm∙°C 8.1097E-5 cal/s∙cm∙°C 3.3931E-2 W/(m∙K)
  • Vapor pressure
    /
    /
    /
CH4
Methane

Liquid / Gas Volumes

Calculate a liquid or gas volume or a mass

Liquid Phase

At boiling point at 1.013 bar

m3(Volume)
kg(Mass)

Gas Phase

at 1.013 bar and boiling point

m3(Volume)
kg(Mass)
CH4
Methane

Applications

Examples of uses of this molecule in Industry and Healthcare

Chemicals

The main current chemical usage of methane is the production of synthesis gas (Syngas), H2 and CO via Steam Methane Reforming (SMR) of natural gas. Synthesis gas is then converted into methanol, oxo-alcohols, ammonia and hydrocarbons. Methylhalogenides (e.g. methylchloride), HCN and acetylene are also produced from methane.

Chemicals

New energies

Methane is the main component of natural gas, a primary energy resource widely used in the energy sector for the production of heat and/or electricity. Natural gas as compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG) are increasingly used as fuels for vehicles to reduce transport emissions and improve air quality.

New energies

Hospital care

Methane is a component of a gaseous mixture used for pulmonary function diagnosis test.

Hospital care

Laboratories & Research Centers

Methane is used in calibration gas mixtures for petrochemical industry, environmental emission monitoring, industrial hygiene monitors and trace impurity analyzers. In mixture with argon, methane is used in Geiger counter and in X-ray fluorescence detector as quentching gas. In mixture with other hydrocarbons, methane is used as reference point in calorimetric measurements of hydrocarbons or coal.

Laboratories & Research Centers

Metal

Methane can be used in blast furnace and Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) plants, as well as cooling agent for tuyeres.

Metal

Electronic components

Methane provides carbon source to silicon film to adjust the light absorption bandgap in silicon thin film photovoltaics.

Electronic components
CH4
Methane

Safety

Information to safely use this molecule

  • Major hazards
  • Material compatibility
  • GHS02
    Flammable
  • GHS04
    Gas under pressure

Autoignition Temperature in Air at Patm and Flammability Limits in Air at Patm and 293.15 K (except if the temperature is indicated)

  • Europe (according to EN1839 for Limits and EN 14522 for autoignition temperature)

    • Auto-ignition temperature
      595
      °C
      1103 °F 868.15 K
    • Flash point
      /
    • Lower flammability limit
      4.4
      vol/%
      4.4E4 ppm 4.4E4 ppm 4.4E-2 vol/vol
    • Upper flammability limit
      17
      vol/%
      1.7E5 ppm 1.7E5 ppm 0.17 vol/vol
  • US (according to NFPA for Limits and ASTM E659 for autoignition temperature)

    • Auto-ignition temperature
      537
      °C
      998.6 °F 810.15 K
    • Flash point
      /
    • Lower flammability limit
      5
      vol/%
      5.E4 ppm 5.E4 ppm 0.05 vol/vol
    • Upper flammability limit
      15
      vol/%
      1.5E5 ppm 1.5E5 ppm 0.15 vol/vol

Odor

none

Metals

  • Aluminium
    Satisfactory
  • Brass
    Satisfactory
  • Monel
    Satisfactory
  • Copper
    Satisfactory
  • Ferritic Steel
    Satisfactory
  • Stainless steel
    Satisfactory
  • Zinc
    Satisfactory
  • Titanium
    no data

Plastics

  • Polytetrafluoroethylene
    Satisfactory
  • Polychlorotrifluoroethylene
    Satisfactory
  • Polyvinylidene fluoride
    Satisfactory
  • Polyvinyl chloride
    Satisfactory
  • Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene
    Satisfactory
  • Polycarbonate
    no data
  • Polyamide
    Satisfactory
  • Polypropylene
    Satisfactory

Elastomers

  • Buthyl (isobutene- isoprene) rubber
    Not recommended
    significant swelling
  • Nitrile rubber
    Satisfactory
  • Chloroprene
    Satisfactory
  • Chlorofluorocarbons
    Satisfactory
  • Silicon
    Satisfactory
  • Perfluoroelastomers
    Satisfactory
  • Fluoroelastomers
    Satisfactory
  • Nitrile rubber
    Satisfactory
  • Neoprene
    Satisfactory
  • Polyurethane
    Satisfactory
  • Ethylene-Propylene
    Not recommended
    significant swelling

Lubricants

  • Hydrocarbon based lubricant
    Satisfactory
  • Fluorocarbon based lubricant
    Satisfactory

Materials compatibility

Recommendations : Air Liquide has gathered data on the compatibility of gases with materials to assist you in evaluating which materials to use for a gas system. Although the information has been compiled from what Air Liquide believes are reliable sources (International Standards: Compatibility of cylinder and valve materials with gas content; Part 1- Metallic materials: ISO11114-1 (March 2012), Part 2 - Non-metallic materials: ISO11114-2 (April 2013), it must be used with extreme caution and engineering judgement. No raw data such as these can cover all conditions of concentration, temperature, humidity, impurities and aeration. It is therefore recommended that this table is only used to identify possible materials for applications at high pressure and ambient temperature. Extensive investigation and testing under the specific conditions of use need to be carried out to validate a material selection for a given application. Contact the regional Air Liquide team for expertise service.

CH4
Methane

Learn More

General information

More information

Methane was discovered between 1776 and 1778 by Alessandro Volta. It can be found in natural gas reservoirs below ground and oceans. When in the atmosphere, it contributes to the GreenHouse effect, i.e it retains heat on earth.