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Ken Frencher 31999 Chem 136 Liquid Fuels from Natural Gas We have known for a long time that eventually our oil deposits will dry up and it would be helpful at that time if we had some kind of alternative fuel to power all of the machines that we use Over the past two decades more oil has been pumped than has been found in the world For this reason scientists have been looking to potential alternative fuels for the future One of these alternative fuels may come in the form of natural gas Natural gas has been found to be more plentiful than oil and it burns cleaner It is worth so little in some places that it is just pumped back into the ground or burned It is already being used in a more purified diesel fuel and it also could be converted to methanol which could be used to power fuel cells in the future but the big problem with natural gas is that it costs much more than oil to process Natural gas is mostly made up of methane and at room temperature and pressure is a gas This makes it expensive to transport because of its much lower energy density It also means that if you want to use it as a traditional fuel source you are going to have to convert it to a liquid This is where many problems arise Even if you compressed natural gas into a liquid it would be difficult to handle because of its explosiveness The ideal conversion of natural gas would be to convert it into an easily handled liquid at room temperature In this form either pumping or using tanks could transfer natural gas To make natural gas into a liquid you want to first break the chemical bonds of methane Using heat and a nickel-based catalyst traditionally does this This breaks the hydrogen bonds to convert methane
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