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Small Modular Methane Utilization – Looking Beyond Fischer-Tröpsch Workshop

Thursday, September 6, 2012

ARPA-E hosted a workshop entitled “Small Modular Methane Utilization – Looking beyond Fischer-Tröpsch” on Thursday, September 6, 2012, in Washington, DC.

The workshop brought together thought leaders from distinct science and engineering communities to develop new ideas and identify key needs and potentially transformational technological approaches for methane utilization. It focused on technologies that could convert natural gas into transportable liquids and/or chemicals and enable increased use of stranded methane and bio-gas in order to reduce petroleum imports and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Specifically, ARPA-E was interested in exploring opportunities that could enable the small-modular, economic conversion of natural gas to higher value products, such as:

  • Combined use of catalysts with gas separation membranes to reduce the cost of converting natural gas into syngas for Fischer-Tröpsch synthesis or for enabling direct gas-to-liquid conversion processes
  • Non-oxidative or oxidative catalysis for the direct conversion of methane to liquids
  • Biologically inspired catalysts with high selectivity and activity for methane oxidation
  • Integration of conventional gas-to-liquids processes that reduce the number process steps and combine heat and pressure requirements.

Information gained from the workshop will assist ARPA-E leadership in the development of potential funding programs targeting key technological roadblocks relevant to the ARPA-E mission.

View the Workshop Agenda and Presentations (pdf).