Effective Catalysts for Oxidative Coupling of Methane

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Many uses for methane, the primary constituent of natural gas (>95%), are being explored as natural gas becomes a larger part of the global energy economy. One major use of methane is in the creation of ethylene. Ethylene is a critical starting material in many industrial applications including polyethylene, a widely used plastic; detergents; car antifreeze; and styrene. Current methods for production of ethylene from methane involve high temperatures that require a large amount of fuel, and consequently, emit the most carbon dioxide of any commodity chemical product. The use of catalysts has been explored, but the catalysts produced by conventional methods deactivate over time.

Researchers at Purdue University have developed a method of producing these catalysts using solution combustion synthesis that produces homogenous catalytic material that remains active in the conversion of methane to ethylene. This process creates catalysts of uniform desired composition that minimizes problems from loss of active material during the reaction. The composition of the catalyst can easily be manipulated to obtain the optimum formulation. Catalysts produced this way allow a lower energy conversion of methane to ethylene with less undesired side products for a longer time than conventionally produced catalysts.

-High quality catalysts of homogenous composition that remain active longer
-Easy to manipulate composition to determine optimum formulation of catalyst

Potential Applications:
-Ethylene production from methane
-Alternative uses of natural gas
-Industrial applications such as plastics, detergents, antifreeze, and styrene
Aug 20, 2013
Utility Patent
United States
Apr 4, 2017

Aug 20, 2012
United States
Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization
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