Natural Gas Conversion Technologies Workshop

ARPA-E held a workshop on the topic of “Natural Gas Conversion Technologies” on January 13, 2012, in Houston, TX. The workshop focused on technologies that could convert natural gas into liquid fuels and chemicals and enable increased use of domestic natural gas and reduced petroleum imports. Special attention was directed towards identifying low-cost strategies to apply potentially transformational approaches to natural gas conversion that could enable the more wide-spread use of domestic natural gas in the transportation sector.

Specifically, ARPA-E was interested in exploring opportunities that could enable the small-scale, economic conversion of natural gas to higher value products, such as:

  • The combined use of catalysts with gas separation membranes to reduce the cost of converting natural gas into syngas for Fischer-Tropsch 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; and
  • The integration of conventional gas-to-liquids processes that reduces the number process steps and combines heat and pressure requirements.

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 natural gas conversion. Information gained from the workshop will assist ARPA-E leadership in the development of potential programs and funding opportunities which target key technological roadblocks relevant to their respective missions.

View the meeting agenda (pdf).  View the workshop output report (pdf).    Presentations: Workshop Overview and Objectives (pdf) - Dane Boysen, ARPA-E Gas-to-Liquids Overview (pdf) - Arno de Klerk, University of Alberta   Plenary Session: Commercialization Consideration for Gas Conversion Technology Development (pdf) - Rob Mortal, Chevron, Inc. Center for Catalytic Hydrocarbon Functionalization EFRC (pdf) - Roy Periana, The Scripps Research Institute