Methane, an organic gas. Methane is colorless, tasteless, and lighter than air. It is flammable and will explode when mixed with oxygen. Methane is a major ingredient of natural gas and coal gas. Firedamp, an explosive mixture of methane and air, is a hazard in coal mines.
Methane is the first member of the alkane series of hydrocarbons, which also includes propane and butane. Methane is a source of petrochemicals such as methanol, acetylene, and hydrogen cyanide. Methane is also a source of carbon black, a reinforcing agent in tires and other rubber products.