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. $2{\mathrm{CH}}_{4}+{\mathrm{O}}_{2}\underset{{200}^{\mathrm{ο}}\mathrm{C}}{\overset{\mathrm{Cu}}{\to }}2{\mathrm{CH}}_{3}\mathrm{OH}$ (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. $2{\mathrm{C}}_{2}{\mathrm{H}}_{6}+{\mathrm{O}}_{2}\underset{{200}^{\mathrm{ο}}\mathrm{C}}{\overset{\mathrm{Cu}}{\to }}2{\mathrm{CH}}_{3}{\mathrm{CH}}_{2}\mathrm{OH}$ (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. $2{\mathrm{CH}}_{4}+{\mathrm{O}}_{2}\underset{{200}^{\mathrm{ο}}\mathrm{C}}{\overset{\mathrm{Cu}}{\to }}2{\mathrm{CH}}_{3}\mathrm{OH}\phantom{\rule{0ex}{0ex}}{\mathrm{CH}}_{3}\mathrm{OH}\stackrel{{\mathrm{K}}_{2}{\mathrm{Cr}}_{2}{\mathrm{O}}_{7}/{\mathrm{H}}^{+}}{\to }\mathrm{HCHO}\stackrel{{\mathrm{K}}_{2}{\mathrm{Cr}}_{2}{\mathrm{O}}_{7}/{\mathrm{H}}^{+}}{\to }\mathrm{HCOOH}\phantom{\rule{0ex}{0ex}}$

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