Ultrahigh Electrocatalytic Conversion of Methane at Room Temperature

Ming Ma, Bing Jun Jin, Ping Li, Myung Sun Jung, Jin Il Kim, Yoonjun Cho, Sungsoon Kim, Jun Hyuk Moon, Jong Hyeok Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Due to the greenhouse effect, enormous efforts are done for carbon dioxide reduction. By contrast, more attention should be paid for the methane oxidation and conversion, which can help the effective utilization of methane without emission. However, methane conversion and utilization under ambient conditions remains a challenge. Here, this study designs a Co3O4/ZrO2 nanocomposite for the electrochemical oxidation of methane gas using a carbonate electrolyte at room temperature. Co3O4 activated the highly efficient oxidation of methane under mild electric energy with the help of carbonate as an oxidant, which is delivered by ZrO2. Based on the experimental results, acetaldehyde is the key intermediate product. Subsequent nucleophilic addition and free radical addition reactions accounted for the generation of 2-propanol and 1-propanol, respectively. Surprisingly, this work achieves a production efficiency of over 60% in the conversion of methane to produce these long-term stable products. The as-proposed regional electrochemical methane oxidation provides a new pathway for the synthesis of higher alcohols with high production efficiencies under ambient conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1700379
JournalAdvanced Science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the NRF of Korea Grant funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning (Nos. 2016R1A2A1A05005216, 2015M1A2A2074663, and 2016M3D3A1A01913117 (C1 Gas Refinery Program)).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Authors. Published by WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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