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( Article Type: Explanation )

Methane is an odourless and colourless hydrocarbon gas produced either by natural or artificial anaerobic decomposition of organic material. The gas burns with a pale flame to produce water and carbon dioxide and releases no hazardous air pollutants. The gas is a by-product of landfill sites and, with careful planning, it is possible to tap the gas from the site, pressurise and dry it and use it to power machinery or run trucks on site. The gas is also emitted from intensive animal husbandry operations (cattle, pigs, or other stall-fed animals) in such large quantities that it has been cited as a contributor to increases in carbon in the atmosphere.