Natural gas can be converted into gasoline. One process that transforms natural gas into liquid fuels such as gasoline is known as the Fischer-Tropsch method.
Established in the 1920s in Germany, the Fischer-Tropsch method works by initially decomposing natural gas into synthetic gas, which is a combination of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. A catalyst is then added to the mixture to enable carbon to bond with hydrogen and form new substances, such as gasoline.
The Fischer-Tropsch process is said to be costly and inefficient. Siluria Technologies, a company based in San Francisco, claims to have discovered a technique in converting the natural gas methane into gasoline using a mutated virus as a catalyst. This new process promises a cleaner and cheaper alternative to the methods used by traditional industrial refineries.