Process Directly Converts Methane to Methanol
- Magazine Article
Methanol is a key feedstock for the production of chemicals, some of which are used to make products such as plastics, plywood, and paints. Methanol also can fuel vehicles or be reformed to produce high-grade hydrogen for fuel cells. The current method for producing methanol from methane- or coal-derived synthesis gas involves a multi-step process that is neither efficient nor economical in small-scale applications. As a result, methane emissions from oil wells — accounting for 210 billion cubic feet of natural gas annually — are being vented and flared, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.