First discovered by Volta about 1777, methane gas is the most abundant hydrocarbon found, not only within the earth’s crust as the major component of natural gas; not only within earth’s atmosphere; but also within the universe. Termites, as they consume wood—part of earth’s biomass—emit immense quantities of the gas, as does sewage from animal sources such as cattle. When captured, methane gas from sewage can be purified and used to generate electricity. Although generally thought of as a gas, methane also exists in the universe in liquid and even in solid form—as so-called “methane ice” crystals. Learn more about this fascinating hydrocarbon in concisely written articles by our Bright Hub contributors.