It would be a triple win—for the climate, raw material resources, and the chemical industry. With their work, scientists at the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society in Berlin hope to create the basis for extracting useful chemical products such as plastics from the methane that is usually flared off during oil production. They are looking into how to design a catalyst that converts methane into ethene more efficiently than is currently possible. They have now found a ground-breaking clue.
Around 140 billion cubic meters of methane, which escapes during global oil production, are flared every year. This is considerably more than the estimated 90 billion cubic meters of natural gas that Germany consumed in 2019. This not only fuels climate change but also wastes a non-renewable fossil fuel. However, it would not be profitable to build pipelines