How do I explain and show the proper chemical equation for the mechanisms behind the energy source in natural gas?  

To explain the proper chemical equation and mechanisms for natural gas, you must first know that, typically, natural gas is methane, or CH4. You also must know that most industrial processes combust methane to produce energy, so the reaction in question is a combustion reaction. Combustion reactions involve a carbon compound and oxygen reacting to form CO2 and H20. Balance the equation CH4 + O2 -> CO2 + H2O to find the proper reaction fro natural gas.

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The typical chemical formula for the compound conventionally called “natural gas” is CH4—methane. Natural gas is most commonly used as a source of fuel, and thus the chemical reaction that is used to extract energy from CH4 is a combustion reaction. Combustion reactions are defined as reactions that have an organic compound (like methane) and oxygen gas as reactants which burn to produce CO2 and H20 as products. Thus, the unbalanced chemical equation for the combustion of methane is as follows:

CH4 + 02 -> CO2 + H20.

We need to balance this equation, however. When balancing equations, always start with the atoms that show up the fewest number of times on each side. In this equation, that atom is C, which only shows up on the reactants side. The next molecule to balance for is H, because it only shows up twice. There are 4 H atoms on the left and 2 H atoms on the right, so add a coefficient of 2 in front of H20 to balance the H atoms:

CH4 + O2 -> CO2 + 2H20.

Finally, balance for the O atoms. There are 4 O atoms on the right, and only 2 on the left side of the reaction, so put a coefficient of 2 in front of the 02:

CH4 + 2O2 -> CO2 + 2H20.

This is your balanced chemical reaction. This reaction generates heat as energy, which is the way natural gas can be used to heat homes and fuel some industrial

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