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Ch4 catalyst

  1. May 30, 2014 #1
    This might be a stupid question so forgive me if it is. Im looking for a way to make methane more useful as a fule and it seems to me that to do that I would have to make it in to a longer hydro-carbon chane. Is there a catalyst that could be used to do this? Thanks in advance.
     
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  3. May 30, 2014 #2

    Borek

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    Define "more useful as a fuel".
     
  4. May 30, 2014 #3

    russ_watters

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    Yeah; by most standards, methane is pretty useful as a fuel.
     
  5. May 30, 2014 #4
    A higher energy content, like propane.
     
  6. May 30, 2014 #5

    SteamKing

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    It takes energy to make methane have a higher energy content by constructing a longer carbon chain. That's what they do in oil refineries: they break down long-chain molecules into shorter chain stuff, and take short stuff and synthesize longer-chain molecules, until Chief Engineer Goldilocks says the product is "Just right".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_Refinery
     
  7. May 30, 2014 #6

    russ_watters

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    Per what unit? Natural gas is higher per unit mass than propane, but a little lower per unit volume (in liquid form). Still not sure what that has to do with being useful though.
     
  8. May 31, 2014 #7
    Maybe I should rephrase my question. I want to make natural gas comporable to gasoline as a fuel?
     
  9. May 31, 2014 #8

    SteamKing

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    Then, you'll have to link CH4 molecules until you start to obtain octane [C8H18] and larger molecules. As was stated earlier, it takes energy to do this. It is done somewhat on a limited basis in current petroleum refineries to produce gasoline, diesel fuel, etc., from crude oil feed stock.

    There are other processes, like the Fischer-Tropsch and the Bergius processes, which produce synthetic liquid fuels from coal.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fischer–Tropsch_process
     
  10. Jun 2, 2014 #9
    So it technically can be done but its not very efficient. Well thank you
     
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