Meth"ane(?), n. [See Methal.] (Chem.) A light, colorless, gaseous, inflammable hydrocarbon, CH4; marsh gas. It is the simplest of the aliphatic hydrocarbons. See Marsh gas, under Gas.
(Chem.), a series of saturated hydrocarbons, of which methane is the first member and type, and (because of their general chemical inertness and indifference) called also the
paraffin (little affinity) series. The lightest members are gases, as methane, ethane; intermediate members are liquids, as hexane, heptane, etc. (found in benzine, kerosene, etc.); while the highest members are white, waxy, or fatty solids, as paraffin proper.
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