Transformation of methane to synthesis gas over metal oxides without using catalyst
This article reviews a new developing method in the field of metal oxide reduction in chemical and metallurgical processes, which uses methane as a reducing agent. Commonly, coal is used as the reducing agent in the reduction of metal oxide and other inorganic materials; Metal producing factories are among the most intensive and concentrated source of greenhouse gases and other pollutants such as heavy metals, sulfur dioxide and fly ash. Thermodynamically, methane has a great reducing capability and can be activated to produce synthesis gas over a metal oxide as an oxygen donor. Metal oxide reduction and methane activation, two concurrent thermochemical processes, can be combined as an efficient and energy-saving process; nowadays this kind of technologies is of great importance. This new reduction process could improve energy efficiencies and significantly decrease greenhouse gas emission compared to the conventional process; furthermore, the produced gases are synthesis gas that is more valuable than methane. In this paper, thermodynamic studies and advantages of this promising method were discussed. The major aim of this article is to introduce methane as a best and environmentally friendly reducing agent at low temperature.