Is methane a fossil fuel?

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kramer
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Is methane a fossil fuel?

Post by kramer » Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:18 pm

I always thought methane was a fossil fuel and when I do a search on this, the results (when quickly scanned) confirm this. Yet I just read that there are lakes of methane on Saturn's moon Titan:
http://www.space.com/14133-saturn-moon- ... ecast.html

So, does this mean there is life on Titan? Or does it mean methane (and possibly other fossil fuels) are not from organic matter?
“We should have been warned by the CFC/ozone affair because the corruption of science in that was so bad that something like 80% of the measurements being made during that time were either faked, or incompetently done.”

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Notorious
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Re: Is methane a fossil fuel?

Post by Notorious » Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:23 pm

kramer wrote:I always thought methane was a fossil fuel and when I do a search on this, the results (when quickly scanned) confirm this. Yet I just read that there are lakes of methane on Saturn's moon Titan:
http://www.space.com/14133-saturn-moon- ... ecast.html

So, does this mean there is life on Titan? Or does it mean methane (and possibly other fossil fuels) are not from organic matter?
They think their is life on Titan, because generally methane cannot be created or sustained without additional/new life to replenish it. It's basically an unknown mainly because there are several parameters for which the existence of life must be met (although they are constantly changing and are not completely universally accepted).

One of these is obviously water, they haven't been able to locate water there iirc. I think they think it's way deep below, but if your question is simply is their life on Titan because of methane gas? Probably.
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Luca
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Re: Is methane a fossil fuel?

Post by Luca » Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:17 pm

The large majority of methane on earth has its origins as a fossil fuel or bacterial processes, but some originates from geological phenomena such as thermal vents.

I would suppose the latter could also occur on Titan, but I don't know what they're concluding regarding whether the presence of methane beyond Earth necessarily indicates life. I don't think the presence of methane alone would be considered conclusive.

I was considering saying that it's presence was definitive because it implies sexual activity when people are methane around, but that's a pretty weak pun. Probably something Notorious would say...........Luca

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kramer
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Re: Is methane a fossil fuel?

Post by kramer » Thu May 24, 2012 11:45 am

Just saw this on Arstechnica, it's sort of related:
Carbon in rocks from Mars comes from volcanoes, not life

The researchers found tiny clusters of graphite-like carbon, about one to ten microns wide, in 10 of the 11 meteorites. Analyzing one meteorite, Dar al Gani 476, more closely, they found pyrene, phenanthrene and other aromatic hydrocarbons mixed in with the graphite-like sheets. It’s likely that the other meteorites contain the same mixture of carbon too, Steele says.

http://arstechnica.com/science/2012/05/ ... -not-life/
The majority of hydrocarbons found naturally occur in crude oil, where decomposed organic matter provides an abundance of carbon and hydrogen which, when bonded, can catenate to form seemingly limitless chains
“We should have been warned by the CFC/ozone affair because the corruption of science in that was so bad that something like 80% of the measurements being made during that time were either faked, or incompetently done.”

- Scientist James Lovelock

MDDad
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Re: Is methane a fossil fuel?

Post by MDDad » Thu May 24, 2012 11:59 am

kramer wrote:I always thought methane was a fossil fuel . . .
If you've ever taken a deep breath while driving past a dairy farm, you'd know methane can be produced without a fossil within a thousand miles.

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Parrotpaul
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Re: Is methane a fossil fuel?

Post by Parrotpaul » Thu May 24, 2012 12:51 pm

MDDad wrote: If you've ever taken a deep breath while driving past a dairy farm, you'd know methane can be produced without a fossil within a thousand miles.
Try the first period AP Economics class at University HS if you want to experience profound and lengthy exposure to methane.
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SoMelo
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Re: Is methane a fossil fuel?

Post by SoMelo » Fri May 25, 2012 6:20 am

Parrotpaul wrote: Try the first period AP Economics class at University HS if you want to experience profound and lengthy exposure to methane.
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