can methane burn?

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by skumara, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. skumara Registered Member

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    can anyone tell me what will happen is i torch a light in titan surface?
    There is no oxygen in titan atmosfere but there are a lot methane gas during the day and methane liquid during the night. can these methane burnwithout oxygen?
     
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  3. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    You would need oxygen (or some other oxidizer) for the methane on titan to burn.
     
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  5. Xerxes asdfghjkl Valued Senior Member

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    Nope. Without oxygen, there can be no fire. And given the ratio of methane to oxygen, any fire on Titan would be very short lived.

    Its also way too cold to even ignite..
     
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  7. Maddad Time is a Weighty Problem Registered Senior Member

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    Nasor is correct. The methane will burn if it has an oxidizer such as oxygen. Flourine or chlorine will also combine with methan in burning as they are both strong oxiders. Interestingly, you will not burn in a pure oxygen atmosphere. You would need a reducer to combine with the oxygen. Methane is one reducer, but there are scads (it's a technical term) of others.
     
  8. Hypercane Sustained Winds at Mach One Registered Senior Member

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    Odd, I was thinking the same thing.
     
  9. Starthane Xyzth returns occasionally... Valued Senior Member

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    You, taken literally, are a combustible organic mass, especially your hair, adipose tissue (and clothes, if you are wearing them!). In a pure oxygen atmosphere, a human body will most definitely burn - which is what tragically happened to the astonauts in the Apollo 1 command module.

    There is no really abundant, significantly reducing gas in our atmosphere. Nitrogen is relatively inert and carbon dioxide forms only a small fraction of a percent.
     
  10. Maddad Time is a Weighty Problem Registered Senior Member

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    Adipose tissue! Thanks for giving me nightmare rememberancs of my Anatomy and Physiology classes

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  11. Starthane Xyzth returns occasionally... Valued Senior Member

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    It gives me more nightmares about the need for diets and painstaking exercise regimes to shed a few unwanted kilograms. It's the cursed physiological entity which makes indulging your favourite, hedonistic foods a sin - against yourself...
     
  12. geodesic "The truth shall make ye fret" Registered Senior Member

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    In a similar vein, hydrogen will not react easily with oxygen in a dry environment - it's a self-catalysing reaction
     
  13. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    The atmosphere here on earth used to be full of methane, until photosynthetic life evolved and started producing O2, which gradually "burned" away the methane in the atmosphere.
     
  14. skumara Registered Member

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    does it mean that is i plant a tree or drop photosynthetic bacteria in a planet full of methane i can start a cycle to chenge the atmosphere?
     
  15. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    If the life can survive, yes.
     
  16. Maddad Time is a Weighty Problem Registered Senior Member

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    That's part of the idea of terraforming a planet.
     
  17. Starthane Xyzth returns occasionally... Valued Senior Member

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    Trees as we know them would not survive in a methane atmosphere, even if there was lots of carbon dioxide as well. After all, higher plants only photosynthesise in daylight; at night, they respire as we do, and require gaseous oxygen. Breathing methane would probably be as toxic to a tree as to us.

    Various bacteria could certainly do it, though...
     

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