Comment on “Selective anaerobic oxidation of methane enables direct synthesis of methanol”

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Abstract

Sushkevich et al. (Reports, 5 May 2017, p. 523) report on the use of water to oxidize methane to methanol. This seems problematic because the reaction of CH4 and water to generate methanol and H2 is highly unfavorable at any temperature (ΔG of reaction ≈ +28 kcal/mol at 200°C, equilibrium constant K ≈ 10−13). Consequently, even if the reaction is separated into two steps, it seems inconceivable to carry out such a net reaction in a practical manner.

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