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Industrial Uses of Methane


A PAMPHLET entitled “Chemicals from Methane”, by Dr. J. P. Lawrie (pp. 24. Science Services, Ltd., 255 Russell Court, London, W.C.I, 1947. 3s.), deals with possible uses of methane from natural gas which, it is said, is available in important quantities in Great Britain. It is pointed out that large quantities of carbon black are imported from the United States, much of which is made there from natural gas, and it is suggested that this might well be made from native gas. Coke-oven gas is also rich in methane. Other products which might be obtained from methane, according to patent literature quoted, are hydrogen for ammonia synthesis, acetylene by exposure to an electric arc, methyl chloride by chlorination, hydrogen sulphide by reaction with sulphur, oxidation products such as methanol, formaldehyde, and formic acid, and nitromethane. A short bibliography is given.

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Industrial Uses of Methane. Nature 159, 670 (1947).

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