Methane technology grant for Cardiff

Cardiff University’s School of Chemistry has been awarded a research grant of over £3.2m to target technology for the conversion of methane to chemicals

CardiffUniversity’s School of Chemistry has been awarded a major research grant to target technology for the conversion of methane to chemicals.

There are large reserves of natural methane in many parts of the world, but practical technology to convert these reserves to chemicals and liquid fuels has proved difficult to develop.

Cardiff was selected for funding as part of the Dow Methane Challenge, initiated by the Dow Chemical Company to identify collaborators and approaches in the area of methane conversion to chemicals. Dow’s awards to the multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary teams led by Cardiff University and Northwestern University together total over £3.2m.

Prof Graham Hutchings, leader of the Cardiff team, said: ‘Success in this project has the potential to change the way we manufacture chemical intermediates in a revolutionary way. The direct oxidation of methane to methanol and other useful products represents the most important remaining grand challenge in catalysis.’

Charles Kresge, Dow Research & Development vice president said: ‘Methane conversion is one of the most challenging areas in catalysis and we hoped the Methane Challenge would attract the highest calibre of research. Clearly it did, and we are excited by the chance to collaborate with truly world-leading teams.’