Catalytic conversion of methane to methanol in a fixed bed tubular reactor

Stewart Walker, Foulds G.A., Miller S.A.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


    Thorough investigations of the gas phase homogeneous partial oxidation of methane in a high pressure tubular reactor using pure oxygen as the oxidant have been undertaken by a number of workers. (Foulds; Pitchai, 1986; Foster, 1985; Gesser, 1985; Burch, 1989; Onsager, 1989) Following on from these studies, investigations of heterogeneous catalytic partial oxidation of methane have been carried out. The position of the catalyst bed was determined from consideration of the gas phase results. The effect of filling the tubular reactor with glass spheres, gamma-alumina and stannic oxide were investigated. The conclusions drawn from this study are that packing the reactor disrupts the flow of the gases and alters the cool flame phenomena observed in the gas phase work (Foulds). Gamma -alumina may activate methane but it is also known to decompose methanol (Tanabe, 1979; Matsushima, 1976) so it was found not to be a suitable support for this catalytic work. The reports of partial oxidation of methane to methanol over stannic oxide in the literature were not able to be reproduced.
    A large proportion of Australia's natural gas is in areas, such as the North-West Shelf, where it is distant from the areas of use. If it can be converted on-site to a more easily stored and transported commodity, such as methanol, it would benefit Australia both as an energy source and as a major new export market.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCHEMECA 91
    Subtitle of host publicationdeveloping export technology : 18th -20th September 1991, official proceedings of conference held at Newcastle City Hall, NSW, Australia.
    Place of PublicationWallsend. N.S.W.
    PublisherInstitution of Engineers, Australia
    Number of pages8
    ISBN (Electronic)0858150409
    ISBN (Print)0858150409
    Publication statusPublished - 1991
    EventChemeca 91: Developing Export Technology - Newcastle City Hall, Newcastle, Australia
    Duration: 18 Sept 199120 Sept 1991
    Conference number: 19


    ConferenceChemeca 91


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