Combustion of methane


2018-03-18 17:35:54




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Methane is a gaseous chemical compound with the chemical formula CH4. It is the simplest representative of alkanes. Other names of this group of organic compounds: limit, saturated or paraffinic hydrocarbons. They are characterized by the simple connection between the carbon atoms in the molecule, and all other valences of each carbon atom is saturated with hydrogen atoms. For the most important alkane reaction is combustion. They burn with formation of gaseous carbon dioxide and water vapor. The result releases massive amounts of chemical energy that turns into heat or electricity. Methane is a combustible substance and the main component of natural gas, which makes it an attractive fuel. In the basis of wide use of natural resources is the combustion reaction of methane. Since it under normal conditions is a gas, it is difficult to transport far from the source, so often it is pre-liquefied.

The Process of burning is the reaction between methane and oxygen, i.e. oxidation of simple alkanes. The result is carbon dioxide, water and a lot of energy. Combustion of methane can be described by the equation: CH4 [gas] + 2O2 [gas] → CO2 [gas] + 2H2O [par] + 891 kJ. That is, one molecule of methane in the interaction with two molecules of oxygen forms a molecule of carbon dioxide and two molecules of water. This releases heat energy equal to 891 kJ. Natural gas is the cleanest to burn fossil as coal, oil and other fuels more complex composition. So when burned they release into the air of various harmful chemicals. Since natural gas consists mainly of methane (about 95%), then by burning virtually no formation of by-products or is much less than in the case of other fossil fuels.


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The Calorific value of methane (to 55.7 kJ/g) is higher than its homolog, for example, ethane (51.9 kJ/g), propane (50,35 kJ/g), butane (49,50 kJ/g) or other fuels (wood, coal, kerosene). Combustion of methane gives more energy. To ensure for years of operation incandescent bulbs with 100 watts are required to burn 260 kg of wood, or 120 kg of coal, or 73.3 kg of kerosene, or only 58 kg of methane, which corresponds to 78,8 m³ natural gas.

The Simplest alkane is an important resource to generate electricity. This occurs by burning it as a fuel boiler produces steam which drives the steam turbine. Also, the combustion of methane is used to produce hot flue gases whose energy provides the gas turbine (combustion is carried out before the turbine, or turbine). In many cities, methane is piped into homes for domestic heating and cooking. Compared to other hydrocarbon fuels burning natural gas has a lower emission of carbon dioxide and a large amount of the generated heat.

Combustion of methane is used to achieve high temperatures in furnaces of various chemical industries, for example, large-scale ethylene plants. Natural gas mixed with air is supplied to burners of furnaces of pyrolysis. In the combustion process are formed flue gases with high temperatures (700–900 °C). They heat tube (inside the furnace), which are fed a mixture of raw material with steam (to reduce the formation of coke in the furnace tubes). Under high temperatures, there is a variety of chemical reactions, which get the target components (ethylene and propylene) and by-products (resin pyrolysis of heavy, hydrogen and methane fraction, ethane, propane, C4 hydrocarbons, C5, pyrocondensate; each has its application, for example, pyrocondensate used to produce benzene or gasoline components).

Combustion of methane is a complex physico-chemical phenomenon based on the exothermic redox reaction, characterized by a high rate of flow and the release of vast amounts of heat as well as heat exchangers and massoobmennyh processes. Therefore, the calculated determination of the temperature of combustion of the mixture is a complex task, since in addition to the air-fuel mixture is strongly influenced by the pressure and initial temperature. With their increase a rise in the temperature of the combustion and heat exchange and massoobmena processes contribute to its decline. The temperature of combustion of methane in the design of processes and equipment of chemical plants is determined by the calculated method, and for existing installations (e.g. in pyrolysis furnaces) it is measured using thermocouples.

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Alin Trodden - author of the article, editor
"Hi, I'm Alin Trodden. I write texts, read books, and look for impressions. And I'm not bad at telling you about it. I am always happy to participate in interesting projects."

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