Methane as new raw material

08-03-2018 koshido
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Three research groups at the Universities of Huelva, Valencia and Toulouse have developed a work that could change the world of chemistry. To get convert methane, a very stable, in other compounds, gaseous substance could start using as raw material in certain chemical processes for the future.

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One of the challenges of modern chemistry is to make very stable substances such as methane, which is also one of the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming, in other products. They must get them more reactive to conditions as close to ambient to avoid increasing the cost of the process.

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Thanks to the use of a silver catalyst in its molecular structure and other reactive called diazo compound, researchers have succeeded reacting methane. This reaction generates propionate, usable in industrial processes and nitrogen in gaseous form.

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But the real secret to getting methane react more easily has been the reaction medium. Using carbon dioxide in supercritical conditions, being also a very stable substance, it allows to act on the catalyst to transform methane. Furthermore, the system described operates at a relatively low temperature considering the stability of methane, since it runs at 40 ° C.

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Currently only methane is used as feedstock for generating synthesis gas, ie carbon monoxide and hydrogen.

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The study was published this week in the journal Science and has been developed by the research groups of the University of Huelva, Valencia and Toulouse, directed by Pedro J. Perez, Gregorio Asensio and Michel Etienne respectively.