Methane Boiling Point (CH4) in Celsius, Kelvin and Reasons

Methane (CH4) is an alkane compound and have a low boiling point. Here, we discuss why CH4 has a lower boiling point and reasons to it. Also, we compare boiling points of another several compounds with methane to highlight special cases of boiling point of methane.

What is the boiling point of methane in Celsius and Fahrenheit?

Boiling point of methane is -161.50C. If it is expressed in Fahrenheit, it is -258.70F.

You see boiling of CH4 is a negative one and it is very low too. Why I say like that, methane has a low boiling point? Compare its boiling point with water! Both, water and methane molecules are very small. But, they have different characteristics such as boiling point.

Why methane's boiling point is low?

Here we are going to discuss why methane's boiling point is low. There are several reasons why boiling point of methane is less.

Methane's molecular mass is small

When molecular mass of a molecule is small, boiling point value decreases too.

Methane's molecular mass is 16. It is the lowest molecular mass in alkane compounds series. Therefore, boiling point of methane has the lowest boiling point in alkane series.

Compare boiling points of methane and hexane

Both methane and hexane are alkanes. But hexane has six carbon atoms while methane only has one carbon atom. When we consider molecular mass of hexane and methane, hexane has a higher molecular mass. Due to higher molecular mass, hexane's boiling point is higher than methane.

Intermolecular forces between methane molecules

C-H bonds are very weakly polarized because electronegativity difference between carbon and hydrogen atoms are very small. So their dipole - dipole interactions are too weak. So, methane are considered as non-polar compound and consider there are only weak London dispersion forces which are the lowest strong intermolecular forces.

But, methane has a greater boiling point than oxygen, why? Explain.

Boiling point of oxygen is -1830C. Oxygen is a non-polar compound and there is only London dispersion forces. So, intermolecular forces of methane molecules are greater than oxygen molecules.


Compare boiling points of these organic compounds which have only one carbon atom; methane, methanal (formaldehyde), methanol, methanoic acid (formic acid).

Boiling points are incresed in following way.

Methane < methanal < methanol < methanoic acid

  • Because methanoic acid's molecular mass is large compared to other compounds and it can make strong hydrogen bonds, methanoic acid should has the highest boiling point.
  • Because methanol can make hydrogen bonds, boiling point of methanol should be higher than methanal. Methanal can make dipole-dipole intermolecular forces which are less stronger than hydrogen bonds.

Which can be the boiling point of methane in kelvin

  1. -54
  2. 111.5
  3. 320
  4. 600

Boiling point is asked from Kelvin. Therefore, it cannot be a negative value. So, answer 1 is wrong. Also, we know, at room temperature methane exist as a gas. Usually, room temperature is around 300K. Therefore, boiling point of methane cannot be over 300 K. Then, answers 3 and 4 are wrong. Now, we know answer is 2.

Which compound has the highest boiling point? methane or methanol?

methanol's boiling point is higher than methane because methanol can form strong hydrogen bonds. Also, molecular mass of methanol is higher than methane. That is another reason why methanol's boiling point is higher than methane.

Is methane a gas at room temperature? Can you determine it from its boiling point?

Yes. you can. Boiling point of methane is well below than room temperature. This can be applied for so many compounds.

Methane is a non-polar molecule and has a low boiling point . (Negative value). Will all non-polar compounds have lower boiling points? (Positive values)

Whether molecules are non-Polar, their boiling points may be higher due to larger molecular weight such as hexane, iodine and more.

What is the boiling point of methane in kelvin?

When you know the boiling point in Celsius, add 273.15 to value of celsius. For methane, -161.5 + 273.15 = 111.65 K.

Why methane has a low boiling point than water?

Water molecules can form strong hydrogen bonds between water molecules. But methane cannot form. Therefore, due to strong intermolecular forces, water has a higher boiling point. Special thing is, whether both methane's and water molecular mass are similar and small, boiling point of water is very hiigher than methane.

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