Research is active on a method to convert methane into synthesis gas using mixed metal oxides. The resulting syngas could be used to manufacture more valuable chemicals. This technology is available for licensing and/or further collaborative research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.
Natural gas (NG), which is composed primarily of methane, is one of the most abundant, low-cost carbon-containing feedstocks available. The economically available route to produce valuable chemicals from methane is via synthesis gas followed by different chemical routes to manufacture the desired chemicals. In a large-scale industrial plant, the production of syngas accounts for a large part of the total costs. Therefore, it is important to develop more efficient and cost-effective methods for the conversion of methane to syngas.
Researchers at NETL have developed a process for methane partial oxidation that uses mixed metal oxides to produce syngas. The mixed metal oxide has unique characteristics that allow it to partially oxidize methane to produce syngas without combusting the methane. After the partial oxidation reaction with methane, the mixed metal oxide can be regenerated with air for continued reactions. The syngas stream from partial oxidation of methane is not diluted with nitrogen. This NETL methane conversion process offers multiple advantages over conventional technologies.
U.S. Patent No: 10,106,407
Title: Metal Ferrite Oxygen Carriers/Catalysts for Partial Oxidation of Methane for Production of Synthesis Gas
Inventors: Ranjani Siriwardane, Yueying Fan
NETL Reference No: 16N-14