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Converting raw natural gas into upgraded liquid alcohol fuel

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Converting raw natural gas into upgraded liquid alcohol fuel

Post  bejoy on Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:11 am

America’s current energy boom may take a new direction with the discovery of a new way to turn raw natural gas into upgraded liquid alcohol fuel. The report on details of the process that could reduce dependence on petroleum appears in Science magazine.

The most unexpected breakthrough in the paper was that ordinary “main group” metals like thallium and lead can trigger the conversion of natural gas to liquid alcohol. The research teams found that natural gas to alcohol conversion occurs at 180 degrees Celsius – just a fraction of the heat needed with traditional “transition metal” catalysts (1400-1600 degrees Celsius). BYU professor Daniel Ess, one of the study authors, used chemistry theory to understand how and why this process works at low temperatures and under mild conditions.

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