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Biogas is also called swamp gas, landfill gas, or marsh gas, depending on where it is produced."Burning ice." Methane clathrate consists of methane trapped in ice crystals.

Unlike water molecules, which are polar and attract one another, methane molecules are non-polar and do not have much attraction for one another.This is the reason why, at room temperature, methane is a gas while water is a liquid.Scientists think that early in the Earth's history—about 3.5 billion years ago—there was one thousand times as much methane in the atmosphere as there is now.The earliest methane was released into the atmosphere by volcanic activity.When methane is burned in the presence of oxygen, the reaction—called a combustion reaction—produces carbon dioxide, water, and a large amount of heat.

In molecular terms, the chemical reaction can be represented as follows: In methane, the carbon-hydrogen covalent bond is among the strongest in all hydrocarbons.

The general reaction can be represented as follows: .

Methane is not toxic, but because it is highly flammable it can form mixtures with air that are explosive.

Upon heating, this material releases methane, which can burn. Source: USGS Large deposits of methane have been found in a form known as methane clathrate, under sediments on the ocean floors.

Also known as methane hydrate or methane ice, it consists of methane molecules held in cage-like, crystalline structures of frozen water.

The search for catalysts that can lower the activation barrier and other small-molecule alkanes is an area of research with considerable industrial significance.