Q:

What is the chemical formula for methane?

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Quick Answer

The chemical formula for methane is CH4. This is the simplest example of a class of compounds called hydrocarbons. Methane occurs in nature, formed from breaking down plant material, in the digestive process in animals and in fossil fuel deposits.

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What is the chemical formula for methane?
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Full Answer

Methane, also called natural gas, forms from the bonding of four hydrogen atoms to a single carbon atom. The hydrogen and carbon atoms share electrons to fill their outer energy levels, producing a more stable configuration for both hydrogen and carbon.

Methane is a greenhouse gas. Greenhouse gases travel into the atmosphere, trapping the sun's heat on Earth like the glass on a greenhouse. The trapped heat causes global temperatures to rise slowly. Methane is one of the culprits leading to the phenomenon of global warming.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Is CH4 polar or nonpolar?

    A:

    CH4, or methane, is a nonpolar molecule. Methane is a highly symmetric molecule made up of atoms with similar electonegativities, and consequentially, it has an evenly distributed electron cloud and no regions of significant charge.

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  • Q:

    Is CH4 ionic or covalent?

    A:

    The structure of the methane, CH4, molecule exhibits single covalent bonds. Covalent bonding involves the sharing of electrons. In the methane molecule, the four hydrogen atom share one electron each with the carbon atom.

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  • Q:

    What is the molar mass of CH4?

    A:

    The molar mass of CH4 is 16.04 grams per mole. The molar mass can be calculated by determining the atomic mass of each atom in the formula. The chemical formula CH4 represents methane.

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  • Q:

    What is methane hydrate?

    A:

    Methane hydrate is crystallized water containing trapped methane which is found in the outer regions of space and deep in the ocean floor. It is represented by the chemical formula (CH4)4(H2O)23.

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