Efficient utilization of abundant methane (CH4) from natural gas remains a major catalysis challenge. One recommended strategy is to convert methane into liquid fuels, such as alcohols, ketones and acids, but most processes usually proceed through high-temperature routes. Here, we employ a ZrO2:NiCo2O4 quasi-solid solution catalyst as the electrochemical anode for partial methane oxidation. Without high temperature, noble metal catalysts and expensive oxidants, this quasi-solid solution anode produces propionic acid, acetic acid and acetone. After the analysis of the products, we demonstrate that the intermediate products from partial methane oxidation, 1-propanol, acetaldehyde and 2-propanol, are further oxidized into propionic acid, acetic acid and acetone, respectively. Long-term stable production via methane oxidation is a new strategy for the electrochemical conversion of organic chemicals.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Science(all)
- Process Chemistry and Technology