Methane to Products
Principal Investigator (PI)
Fabio Coral Fonseca – IPEN – firstname.lastname@example.org
Almir Oliveira Neto – IPEN – email@example.com
André Santarosa Ferlauto – UFABC – firstname.lastname@example.org
Daniel Zanetti de Florio – UFABC – email@example.com
Elisabete Inacio Santiago – IPEN – firstname.lastname@example.org
Estevam V. Spinacé – IPEN – email@example.com
Reginaldo Muccillo – IPEN – firstname.lastname@example.org
See publications list.
Amongst the challenges facing the modern chemical industry, the development of new, sustainable routes for production of chemicals and fuels is potentially the most significant. Natural gas has been and will continue to be, in the near future, one of the main sources of hydrocarbons for energy generation. Natural gas, with its major component being CH4 , has become significantly cheaper and with availability well beyond the current and future predicted demand. Such a scenario has renewed scientific interest in technologies that can efficiently and sustainably convert such abundant feedstock into useful products. Nevertheless, methane is also the least reactive of all hydrocarbons and, therefore, development of efficient and selective processes of methane conversion to fuels and chemicals has become critical in recent years due to the emerging number of untapped natural gas reserves and the urgent need to reduce both greenhouse gas emissions and dependence from limited crude oil resources. However, industrial routes for one-step conversion of methane to fuels and chemicals are scarce. The most technologically advanced routes involve the indirect conversion of methane (i.e., methane steam reforming) to fuels and chemicals. The challenges associated with the one-step conversion of methane to chemicals and fuels arise from the fact that methane is a very stable molecule, comprised of C-H bonds that are weakly polarized. Hence, very aggressive reactants and operating conditions (e.g., temperature and pressures) are required to activate the methane C-H bond, consequently favoring undesired reactions (e.g., complete combustion to CO2 ) which lead to loss in activity, selectivity, and yield of desired products.