Researchers find new ways to harness wasted methane

phys.org | 1/21/2019 | Staff
princiaprincia (Posted by) Level 3
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The primary component of natural gas, methane, is itself a potent greenhouse gas. A recent study, affiliated with South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) has unveiled a high performance catalyst for methane conversion to formaldehyde.

This breakthrough has been led by Professor Kwang-jin Ahn and his team in the School of Energy and Chemical Engineering at UNIST in collaboration with Professor Ja Hun Kwak (School of Energy and Chemical Engineering, UNIST), Professor Eun Duck Park from Ajou University, and Professor Yoon Seok Jung from Hanyang University.

Work - Team - 'methane - Oxidase - Catalyst

In this work, the team has presented an excellent 'methane oxidase catalyst' consisting of nanomaterials. This material has a stable structure and high reactivity at high temperatures, increasing the efficiency of converting methane to formaldehyde more than twice as much as before.

Methane, like petroleum, can be converted into useful resources through chemical reactions. The main ingredient of shale gas, which is attracting attention in the US in recent years, is methane, and the technology to make high value-added resources with this material is also recognized as important. The problem is that the chemical structure of methane is so stable that it does not easily react to other substances. So far, methane has been used primarily as fuel for heating and transportation.

Temperature - C - Effect - Reaction - Chemical

A high temperature above 600 ° C is required to effect a reaction that changes the chemical structure of methane. Therefore, a catalyst having a stable structure and maintaining reactivity in this environment is required. Previously, vanadium oxide (V2O2) and molybdenum oxide (MoO3) were known to be the best catalysts. When these catalysts were used, the formaldehyde conversion of methane was less than 10 percent.

Professor Ahn made a catalyst that could convert methane to formaldehyde using nanomaterials. Formaldehyde is a useful resource widely used as a raw material for bactericides, preservatives, functional...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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