UOP Awarded NIST Funding

Sept. 30, 2004
Liquid-phase Oxidation of Methane to Methanol Expected to Lower CostsUOP LLC, headquartered in Des Plaines, Ill., has announced that it has been granted an award by the Advanced Technology Program, administered by the National Institute of Standards and Technology within the US Commerce Department, to develop breakthrough technology for Selective Liquid-Phase Oxidation of Methane to Methanol.Project funding will total $5MM over three years and will focus on demonstration of proof-of-principle and techno-economic feasibility of a novel, low-temperature process for conversion of methane to methanol. If successful, UOP will commercialize the technology, which will reportedly lower the cost of methanol from the current $80/ton to $58/ton. Additionally, capital cost, energy utilization, and carbon dioxide production also is expected to be reduced by approximately 50%, 60%, and 33%, respectively.Low-cost methanol produced via this technology would allow monetization of remote natural gas, making it possible for the methanol to compete as a precursor for chemicals such as ethylene and propylene, as well as for liquid fuels and power.