Difference between methane and propane.

Methane (CH4) and propane (C3H8) are organic substances of the alkane class, the simplest hydrocarbons, natural gases. Methane and propane differ in chain length, molecular composition and properties.


Methane - the first representative of a number of saturated hydrocarbons. It is the main component of mine, swamp, natural and associated petroleum gases. Methane is released during the gradual slow decomposition of organic residues under the influence of significant temperatures, pressures and microorganisms, without access to air.

Methane is poorly soluble in water and other liquids (ketones, aldehydes, lower alcohols). However, it is absorbed by solid adsorbents such as activated carbon and hydrocarbons. It has the lowest sorption capacity, so this property is successfully used to purify methane from other gaseous impurities.

Propane - belongs to the class of alkanes. It is found in natural gas, it is formed during the separation of "fat" natural and associated petroleum gas, cracking of petroleum products. Propane, a colorless and odorless gas, is low-toxic and fire- and explosive, heavier than air.


The main practical difference between methane and propane is that methane has 2.5 times lower calorific value than propane. Therefore, propane is much more efficient as a fuel.

Methane is significantly lighter than air, which cannot be said about propane. With poor insulation, methane leaks out of the system and hangs in the air. At the same time, even the slightest breath contributes to its movement over considerable distances. The explosion hazard of methane is 2 times that of propane. Therefore, it is more dangerous for human life.

Propane has a weak narcotic effect on living organisms. Methane has the least chemical activity. Methane is difficult to condense, and propane is easily liquefied by cold water at the appropriate pressure. Compared to propane, methane has the lowest reactivity.

Conclusions TheDifference.ru

  1. Propane as a fuel is more efficient than methane.
  2. Methane is more inert than propane. Propane enters into chemical reactions more actively.
  3. Propane is narcotic, while methane is more explosive.