Dr. Joseph Holles
The recent downturn in natural gas prices worldwide has opened up an avenue for alternative chemistry methods to create hydrocarbon products such as aromatics. One such process proposed by my senior design group involves using a catalyst to convert methane directly to benzene and toluene, with the formation of hydrogen and naphthalene byproducts.
In this presentation, I will explain my own contributions toward building this project. In regards to the technical aspects of its design, I helped in designing the layout of the system using various computer modeling programs, in addition to performing research into what type of catalyst would be best for the process. For the purpose of determining the feasibility of this project, I also contributed to an economic analysis of it. This involved determining the cost of the necessary infrastructure and chemicals in order for the system to run, as well as analyzing ways in which we could benefit economically from any waste created by the process. In order to achieve an understanding of our process’s broader impact if it were to be implemented, I also helped in analyzing the economic and environmental impacts of this project.
Von Buettner, Aric; DeStefano, Audra; Gunderson, Timothy; and Mann, Andrew, "Methane to Aromatics" (2016). Honors Theses AY 15/16. 40.