Method for the photocatalytic conversion of methane Page: 4 of 18
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A myriad of techniques for methane conversion exist. One such
method involves the partial oxidation of methane to methanol,
wherein methane is first converted to carbon monoxide and hydrogen
for later synthesis into methanol. Currently, the processes for the
5 direct oxidation of methane to methanol suffers from low methane
conversion and poor methanol selectivity.
Other methane to methanol conversion techniques, such as that
disclosed by K. Ogura and M. Kataoka in the Journal of Molecular
Catalysis 4 3 (1988) pp 371-379, require ultraviolet (UV) radiation
1 0 of approximately 185 nanometers (nm) and special photochemical
reactors. Such UV requirements impose special health and equip-
Catalysts have been utilized in conjunction with visible light
to produce hydrogen, as disclosed by P. Maruthamuthu et al., Bulletin
1 5 of Electrochemistry 6 (1) January 1990, pp. 128-131. However,
neither this nor any other methods teach a method for direct conver-
sion of methane to methanol in high yields.
A need exists in the art for a method for converting methane to
methanol using widely available reactants and without special
20 equipment. The method should be performed at normal pressures,
using harmless radiation wavelengths, and result in high product
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
An object of the present invention is to provide a method for
25 converting methane to methanol that overcomes many of the disad-
vantages of the prior art.
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Noceti, R. P.; Taylor, C. E. & D'Este, J. R. Method for the photocatalytic conversion of methane, patent, December 1996; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc707426/m1/4/: accessed September 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.