Methane is a colorless, odorless gas with a wide distribution in nature. At room temperature, methane is a gas less dense than air. It melts at –183°C and boils at –164°C. It is not very soluble in water. Methane is combustible, and mixtures of about 5 to 15 percent in air are explosive. Methane is not toxic when inhaled, but it can produce suffocation by reducing the concentration of oxygen inhaled.
Methane gas can be produced from various natural and human-related sources. It is also a major greenhouse gas. Some activities that contribute to methane gas release are coal mining, rice cultivation, composting, waste incineration, treating wastewater, manure fermentation, petrochemical production, and agricultural field burning.
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