It is an alkane (CnH2n+2) having chemical formula CH4. The methane is one of the major constituents (about 85%) of the natural gas. It has bond angle of 109.5 degrees. It is also known as marsh gas as it is found in marshy areas.

Physical properties: (i) Boiling point : -162°C.

(ii) Melting point : -183°C.

(iii) It is a colorless and odorless gas.

(iv) It is insoluble in water.

(v) It dissolves in alcohol, carbon tetrachloride etc.

(vi) It is lighter than air.   

Chemical Properties: (i) Methane reacts with chlorine, fluorine to undergo substitution reactions.

(ii) In sufficient amount of oxygen, it burns to give CO2 and water but in insufficient oxygen, it gives out CO.

(iii) It also reacts with halogens.

(iv) Methane produces a lot of heat when undergoes combustion so it is also used as a fuel.

Uses: (i) It is used as a fuel in gas turbine.

(ii) It is used as a domestic fuel.

(iii) It is also used as a fuel for vehicle in the form of CNG (Compressed natural gas).