Methane - CH4

What is Methane?

Methane is a simplest of the saturated hydrocarbons with a chemical formula CH4 It consists of four hydrogen atoms and one carbon atom and is the simplest alkane. When natural methane reaches the surface of the atmosphere is called atmospheric methane and can be found under the sea floor as well as below the ground. It is odorless or has a sweet oil type smell and has no color. It is a flammable non toxic gas. It is a tetrahedral molecule which has four equivalent C-H bonds. It is produced by colonic anaerobes. Alessandro Volta an Italian physicist was the first to scientifically identify methane in the year 1776.

Properties of Methane – CH4



Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass

16.04 g/mol


0.656 kg/m³

Boiling Point

−161.50 °C

Melting Point

−182.5 °C

Methane structure – CH4

Methane structure

CH4 Uses (Methane)

  • It is used in automobiles, ovens and water heater as a fuel
  • It is used in the generation of electricity
  • It is used as a rocket fuel in its refined liquid form
  • It is used as  an antifreeze ingredient in industries
  • It is a common ingredient in fertilizer
  • It is used to sanitize products
  • It is used in gas-fired power stations
  • It is used in gas cookers
  • It is used in the testing of gas appliances

You can learn more about the different properties, applications, the structure of CH4 and other chemical compounds from the expert faculties at BYJU’S – India’s largest education company. Register now!

Practise This Question

Which of the following sets has strongest tendency to form anions?