A review of the direct oxidation of methane to methanol

Baozhai Han, Yang Yang, Yanyan Xu, U. J. Etim, Ke Qiao, Benjing Xu, Zifeng Yan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


This article briefly reviewed the advances in the process of the direct oxidation of methane to methanol (DMTM) with both heterogeneous and homogeneous oxidation. Attention was paid to the conversion of methane by the heterogeneous oxidation process with various transition metal oxides. The most widely studied catalysts are based on molybdenum and iron. For the homogeneous gas phase oxidation, several process control parameters were discussed. Reactor design has the most crucial role in determining its commercialization. Compared to the above two systems, aqueous homogenous oxidation is an efficient route to get a higher yield of methanol. However, the corrosive medium in this method and its serious environmental pollution hinder its widespread use. The key challenge to the industrial application is to find a green medium and highly efficient catalysts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1206-1215
Number of pages10
JournalChinese Journal of Catalysis
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Aqueous catalyzed oxidation
  • Direct oxidation
  • Gas-phase homogeneous oxidation
  • Heterogeneous oxidation
  • Methane
  • Methanol


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