A way to produce Methanol

  • Scientists have found a way to produce methanol – an important chemical often used as fuel in vehicles – using oxygen in the air, an advance that may lead to cleaner, greener industrial processes worldwide.
  • Methanol is currently produced by breaking down natural gas at high temperatures into hydrogen gas and carbon monoxide before reassembling them – expensive and energy-intensive processes known as ‘steam reforming’ and ‘methanol synthesis.’
  • However, researchers from Cardiff University in the U.K. have discovered they can produce methanol from methane through simple catalysis that allows methanol production at low temperatures using oxygen and hydrogen peroxide.
  • At present global natural gas production is about 2.4 billion tonnes per annum and 4% of this is flared into the atmosphere – roughly 100 million tonnes.
  • The approach of using natural gas could use this “waste” gas saving, saving carbon dioxide emissions.

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