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Natural Gas Conversion

Upcycling flame

DOE and NETL are focusing on the development of materials, equipment, and processes to eliminate the flaring and non-safety-related venting of natural gas and, instead it, convert them into more readily transportable products, including sustainable fuels and chemicals. Successful technologies developed in this research area will be integrated into small-scale modular systems that can be utilized on a wellpad scale as an effective means of converting associated natural gas that would otherwise be flared into sustainable fuels and chemicals that will also drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere.

NETL’s natural gas conversion initiative intends to make natural gas conversion commercially viable through multidisciplinary approaches enabling technological advancement across materials, equipment, and processes such as:

  • Materials development that enables process intensification at the nanoscale toward improvements in catalyst activity, reduced catalyst deactivation, increases in product selectivity, and reduction in the severity of reactor operating conditions. This can include non-catalyst materials that enable improved heat transfer, flow rates, dispersion, or molecular separation.
  • Reactor and catalyst designs that target multiple sustainable high-value, transportable fuels and chemicals.
  • Novel processes and catalyst materials that achieve high selectivity for the manufacture of high-value carbon materials such as, but not limited to, carbon nanofibers, carbon nanotubes, and graphene sheets.
  • Development of technologies that can leverage additive manufacturing, operate under conditions of varying feed rate and composition, use air directly as an oxygen source, and show flexibility for producing a variety of products.

Developing Technologies for Upcycling Associated Gas into Higher-Value ProductsButtonName