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Jackson
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[*] posted on 12-2-2019 at 08:54
Methane synthesis


I have been wanting to attempt the Miller-Urey experiment for a while now but what I always get hung up on is getting methane for the experiment. I have seen people generate alkenes using the dehydration of alcohols using sulfuric acid, but the smallest alcohol I can find literature for is ethanol. Would it work to generate methane from methanol? I know methane isn't an alkene, but shouldn't the overall process be the same? I know I could get methane from the gas lines, but as I am doing this at home, I don't have a takeoff point, and I don't know if I could get one installed.
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Ubya
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[*] posted on 12-2-2019 at 09:18


you could decarboxylate sodium acetate with sodium hydroxide, it's one way to produce methane in a lab




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XeonTheMGPony
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[*] posted on 12-2-2019 at 16:11


or make a 5gallon digester and add an empty tire tube to it as a collection bladder, then simply run through sodium hydroxide to scrub most the un wanted crap out of the gas stream.

FYI I'm envious, I all ways wanted to do this as well.

[Edited on 13-2-2019 by XeonTheMGPony]
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Heavy Walter
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[*] posted on 13-2-2019 at 05:45


Are you familiar with the Sabatier reaction?
You need to feed hydrogen and carbon dioxide through a nickel catalyst @ 350° C and you get methane.
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Jackson
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[*] posted on 13-2-2019 at 10:01


Yeah I have looked at it, and it is probably the best because it can give me a constant stream of methane at a pretty reliable rate. The last time I read up about it I could have sworn the catalyst was an expensive platinum group meta type catalyst but if it’s just nickel then I guess it’s something I should probably look more into. Would a metal tube of something like copper be a good reaction tube?
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Heavy Walter
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[*] posted on 13-2-2019 at 12:21


Hi,
In the chromatographic world it is employed in "methanizers", used to quantify CO and CO2 with a FID.
Google it.
Beware because the nickel powder is rated as cancerigen. Surely there are alternative catalysts.
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[*] posted on 22-2-2019 at 08:10


What would be the best alternative catalyst for nickel powder btw?



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clearly_not_atara
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[*] posted on 22-2-2019 at 15:44


Nickel powder and CO in the same place sounds a bit scary.

I wonder if you could reduce a solution of methyl halide in methanol using aluminum amalgam and get methane. Perhaps even Al/Cu wold work.




[Edited on 04-20-1969 by clearly_not_atara]
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Heavy Walter
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[*] posted on 27-2-2019 at 04:49


Jackson
Another option to get methane is the reaction of aluminum carbide with water.
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12thealchemist
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[*] posted on 27-2-2019 at 07:24


If we're considering all possibilities, one could generate methane via protonation of a methyl Grignard or methyllithium, but this would be a terrible waste of a difficult-to-get reagent



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