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Question

How will you bring about following conversions:
(a) Methane to methanol.
(b) Ethane to ethanol (acetaldehyde).
(c) Methane to methanoic acid.

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Solution

(a) Methane can be converted into methanol by passing a mix of methane and oxygen (mixed in the ratio 9:1) through hot copper tubes at 200oC.

2CH4 + O2 200οCCu 2CH3OH

(b) Ethane can be converted into ethanol by passing a mix of ethane and oxygen (mixed in the ratio 9:1) through hot copper tubes at 200oC.

2C2H6 + O2 200οCCu 2CH3CH2OH

(c) Methane can be converted into methanol by passing a mix of methane and oxygen (mixed in the ratio 9:1) through hot copper tubes at 200oC. Methanol, on further oxidation in the presence of potassium dichromate, will yield methanoic acid.

2CH4 + O2 200οCCu 2CH3OHCH3OH K2Cr2O7/H+ HCHO K2Cr2O7/H+ HCOOH

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