Experiment 7

How much methane (natural gas) can you collect in 2 days from 1/2 cup of coal?

this is a picture of coalMaterials:

Soft piece of bituminous coal


Quart jar


Test tube

Rubber band

Do this first:

1.    Hammer the lumps of coal into a coarse powder.

2.    Put the coal in the funnel and place the funnel inside the jar.

Then do this:

1.    Fill the jar with water first.

2.    Fill the test tube with water and place it over the funnel.

3.    Don’t let any air get in!

4.    Mark the test tube at the water line with a rubber band or china marker.

5.    Methane will collect in the test tube.

6.    After the tube seems to be filled (in about 2 days), will the coal still give off methane gas? How can you find out?


Will the methane you collected burn?

Remove the test tube and put your thumb over the top.

Light a match and turn the test tube upright. Let the gas out. What happens?

Why is mining a dangerous occupation?