Chasing the Dream of Half-Price Gasoline from Natural Gas

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    Jan 21, 2014 12:06 PM GMT
    This could be huge...

    A startup called Siluria thinks it’s solved a mystery that has stymied huge oil companies for decades.

    At a pilot plant in Menlo Park, California, a technician pours white pellets into a steel tube and then taps it with a wrench to make sure they settle together. He closes the tube, and oxygen and methane—the main ingredient of natural gas—flow in. Seconds later, water and ethylene, the world’s largest commodity chemical, flow out. Another simple step converts the ethylene into gasoline.

    The white pellets are a catalyst developed by the Silicon Valley startup Siluria, which has raised $63.5 million in venture capital. If the catalysts work as well in a large, commercial scale plant as they do in tests, Siluria says, the company could produce gasoline from natural gas at about half the cost of making it from crude oil—at least at today’s cheap natural-gas prices.

    If Siluria really can make cheap gasoline from natural gas it will have achieved something that has eluded the world’s top chemists and oil and gas companies for decades. Indeed, finding an inexpensive and direct way to upgrade natural gas into more valuable and useful chemicals and fuels could finally mean a cheap replacement for petroleum.
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    Jan 21, 2014 1:55 PM GMT
    now that's awesome. it's very doubtful anything will be cheaper, more convenient or more efficient (overall) than liquid fuels for cars
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 21021

    Jan 21, 2014 3:49 PM GMT
    To bad they are privately held. Sounds like a good company to invest in their stock