Argonne National Laboratory

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  • This image depicts the selective functionalization of methane molecules, a chemical process that makes them more technologically desirable. The methane molecules are shown as one gray carbon atom connected to four white hydrogen atoms. The orange crystals at bottom represent the metal-organic frameworks in which the reaction takes place. (Image by Xuan Zhang, Northwestern University.)

    Uncovering a missing link from methane to methanol

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    Microscopic crystalline structures called metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) may provide a way to solve one of the biggest problems in methane functionalization catalysis, an economically important chemical process. Now, a research team from Argonne and Northwestern University have demonstrated a new way to activate methane with MOFs.