Oxford researchers said they were able to produce methanol directly by catalytic hydrogenolysis of glycerine using a precious metal catalyst in industrially mild conditions of just 100°C temperature and a 20 bar pressure of hydrogen gas.
The researchers said around 90% of the world's methanol comes from natural gas so the new production method offers a cost-effective alternative. I do wonder how much the catalyst will cost though?? Catalysts seem to be a very profitable business these days in developing green chemistry.
But I digress.
The Oxford gycerine-to-methanol technology has been patented by the University's technology transfer company, Isis Innovation. Unlike other glycerine-to-methanol method, the researchers said theirs is a more direct, efficient, and lower cost route.