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September 16th, 2010

Natural Gas to Chemicals

Abstract:
Converting methane directly to valuable chemicals and liquid fuels is an industrial challenge that has defied the best minds in chemistry. Now catalyst developer Siluria Technologies claims to have solved the problem.

Siluria's solution is a catalyst that efficiently turns methane into ethylene, the feedstock underpinning more than two-thirds of global chemical production. The Menlo Park, California-based firm, which raised $3.3 million from venture capital firms last year and expects to announce further financing this month, says it succeeded with a brute-force trial-and-error process that tested novel compounds with catalytic potential. "The problem is too difficult to analyze your way out of. We're overwhelming the problem instead with a simple, sturdy experimental technique," says Alex Tkachenko, Siluria's CEO.

Source:
technologyreview.com

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