By Russell Chianelli, The University of Texas at El Paso, Materials Research and Technology Institute
In a Wall Street Journal article entitled “Chemical Makers Ride Gas Boom,” the emergence of low cost natural gas is changing the way chemical companies seek to synthesize their products. Currently petrochemicals are made from petroleum feed stocks, and the price of petroleum continues to rise. At the same time natural gas has become more abundant and the price has decreased significantly in the past several years. These facts have caused companies such as Dow Chemical to seek to switch to natural gas for their products. Dow, Shell, and Cononco have decided to build new plants for processing natural gas.
These events offer opportunities for catalytic materials scientists to develop new catalytic materials and processes focused on natural gas for chemical synthesis.
- D. Gilbert, “Chemical Makers Ride Gas Boom”, Wall Street Journal, B1, April 19, 2012.