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When organic matter decomposes under oxygen-free (anaerobic) conditions, methane is one of the products. Thus, enormous deposits of natural gas, which is almost entirely methane, serve as a major source of fuel for home and industry.
a) Known deposits of natural gas can produce 5600 EJ of energy (1 EJ = 10 18 J). Current total global energy usage is 4.0 x 102 EJ per year. Find the mass (in kg) of known deposits of natural gas (ΔH°rxn for the combustion of CH4 = −802 kJ/mol).
b) At current rates of usage, for how many years could these deposits supply the world’s total energy needs?