Natural gas conversion remains one of the essential technologies for current energy needs. This review focuses on the mechanistic aspects of the development of efficient and durable catalysts for two reactions, carbon dioxide reforming and the oxidative coupling of methane. These two reactions have tremendous technological significance for practical application in industry. An understanding of the fundamental aspects and reaction mechanisms of the catalytic reactions reviewed in this study would support the design of industrial catalysts. CO2 reforming of methane utilizes CO2, which is often stored in large quantities, to convert as a reactant. Strategies to eliminate carbon deposition, which is the major problem associated with this reaction, are discussed. The oxidative coupling of methane directly produces ethylene in one reactor through a slightly exothermic reaction, potentially minimizing the capital cost of the natural gas conversion process. The focus of discussion in this review will be on the attainable yield of C2 products by rigorous kinetic analyses.
2012 by The Japan Petroleum Institute