The group of Xinhe BAO at Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics has designed a series of graphene-complexed 3d transition metals such as manganese, iron, cobalt, nickel and copper as catalytic material. They found that a graphene-complexed single iron center can directly convert methane to C1 oxygenate at room temperature with hydrogen peroxide as oxidant. DFT theoretical calculations showed that the conversion of methane follows a free radical reaction route. The O-FeN4-O formed in situ during the reaction has high activity, and the methane is first converted into CH3OH and CH3OOH by free radicals, and further converted to HOCH2OOH and HCOOH.

CAS news release, August 31, 2018