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Method for the photocatalytic conversion of gas hydrates

United States Patent

July 31, 2001
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
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A method for converting methane hydrates to methanol, as well as hydrogen, through exposure to light. The process includes conversion of methane hydrates by light where a radical initiator has been added, and may be modified to include the conversion of methane hydrates with light where a photocatalyst doped by a suitable metal and an electron transfer agent to produce methanol and hydrogen. The present invention operates at temperatures below C., and allows for the direct conversion of methane contained within the hydrate in situ.
Taylor; Charles E. (Pittsburg, PA), Noceti; Richard P. (Pittsburg, PA), Bockrath; Bradley C. (Bethel Park, PA)
The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy (Washington, DC)
09/ 616,689
July 14, 2000
The United States Government has rights to this invention pursuant to the employee/employer relationship of the inventors to the U.S. Department of Energy at the National Energy Technology Laboratory.