How to Compress Methane Gas to Liquid

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Methane is a hydrocarbon chemical that can be found in both liquid and gaseous states. Methane is represented by the chemical formula CH4, which means that every molecule of methane contains one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms. Methane is highly combustible and is often used as fuel in industrial applications. Methane is usually found in its gaseous state due to temperatures and pressures found naturally on earth. You must exert a large amount of pressure on methane, in addition to cooling it greatly, to convert methane into a liquid.

Things You'll Need

  • Liquid nitrogen cryogenic tank
  • Plastic gas transfer tube
  • Pressure vacuum
  • Connect your canister filled with methane gas to the liquid nitrogen cryogenic tank with the plastic gas transfer tube. Turn the release on the methane canister to allow flow of the methane to the cryogenic tank. Close the shunt on the cryogenic tank after all of the methane has flowed into the tank. Remove the gas transfer tube.

  • Leave the methane gas to cool in the liquid nitrogen tank for at least 48 hours. Check the temperature on the cryogenic tank to verify that the contents are at least negative 150 degrees Celsius.

  • Transfer the cooled methane gas from the cryogenic tank to the pressure vacuum with a gas transfer tube. Open the shunt on the cryogenic tank and on the pressure vacuum. Close the shunts when all of the gas has moved to the vacuum.

  • Set your pressure vacuum to exert 46 bars of pressure on the methane gas. The methane gas will slowly condense and form a liquid at the bottom of the vacuum.

References

  • "Organic Chemistry"; L. G. Wade; 2009
  • "Experimental Organic Chemistry: A Miniscale and Microscale Approach"; John C. Gilbert and Stephen F. Martin; 2010
  • "Experimental Organic Chemistry: Standard and Microscale"; Laurence M. Harwood, Christopher J. Moody and Jonathan M. Percy; 1999
  • Photo Credit Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images
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