Catalytic Conversion of Methane at Low Temperatures: A Critical Review

Yipei Chen, Xueliang Mu, Xiang Luo, Kaiqi Shi, Gang Yang, Tao Wu

Research output: Journal PublicationReview articlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)
321 Downloads (Pure)


The current study reviews the recent development in the direct conversion of methane into syngas, methanol, light olefins, and aromatic compounds. For syngas production, nickel-based catalysts are considered as a good choice. Methane conversion (84%) is achieved with nearly no coke formation when the 7% Ni-1%Au/Al2O3 catalyst is used in the steam reforming of methane (SRM), whereas for dry reforming of methane (DRM), a methane conversion of 17.9% and CO2 conversion of 23.1% are found for 10%Ni/ZrOx MnOx/SiO2 operated at 500 °C. The progress of direct conversion of methane to methanol is also summarized with an insight into its selectivity and/or conversion, which shows that in liquid-phase heterogeneous systems, high selectivity (>80%) can be achieved at 50 °C, but the conversion is low. The latest development of non-oxidative coupling of methane (NOCM) and oxidative coupling of methane (OCM) for the production of olefins is also reviewed. The Mn2O3–TiO2–Na2WO4/SiO2 catalyst is reported to show the high C2 yield (22%) and a high selectivity toward C2 (62%) during the OCM at 650 °C. For NOCM, 98% selectivity of ethane can be achieved when a tantalum hydride catalyst supported on silica is used. In addition, the Mo-based catalysts are the most suitable for the preparation of aromatic compounds from methane.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1900750
JournalEnergy Technology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020


  • catalysis
  • catalytic conversion
  • direct-methane-to-methanol
  • low temperatures
  • methane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Energy


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