1) The Slav oxidation of methane was studied by
a flow method in the range of temperatures between SOCAC
2) The hope that by subjecting methane mixed with
nitrogen and oxygen to a high temperature for a very short tine and by cooling the products of oxidation
immediately the greater part of the methane would be
transformed into formaldehyde was not. followed by success. The yields of formaldehyde were very low and aid
not exceed 0.8 % of the methane passed through the
3) Many of the experimental results were erratic
The passing of methane or oxygen through the heated
furnace removed this difficulty.
4) Methane was oxidized in a mixture with nitrogen and oxygen in the ratio N₂:O₂:CH₄ -2.1.1 and 2.0.1:1 respectively. The decreasing of oxygen in
these mixtures had only a small effect on the oxidation
5) hater vapour added to the gas mixtures before
the reaction, increased markedly the rate of oxidation.
5) The presence cf hydrogen in the final products
is probably due to the decomposition of methane by steam.
7) The thermal decomposition of formaldehyde was also studied by the same flow method and by means of the furnace used in previous experiments.
8) The experiments were carried out both when
the furnace was empty and when it was filled with
pumice grains. The rate of decomposition was greater
when the furnace was filled with pumice.
9) Formaldehyde decomposes very quickly at temperatures between 750° and 700°C and relatively slowly below 400° or 500°U. Between 700°C and 450°C the
effect of temperature on the velocity constant for decomposition of formaldehyde in the furnace filled
with pumice can be represented by the simple equation:
K = 0.01439t - 6.294
while that in the empty furnace and in the range of
temperature between 700°G and 500°G can be expressed
by the equation
K₁ = 0.016622t - 8.224.
10) In the lower temperature region the thermal
decomposition of formaldehyde itself is not mainly
responsible of the low yield of formaldehyde in the
11) General considerations on the mechanism of
the slow oxidation of methane have been given.