Found: The ‘holy grail of catalysis’ — turning methane into methanol under ambient conditions using light

An international team of researchers, led by scientists at the University of Manchester, has developed a fast and economical method of converting methane, or natural gas, into liquid methanol at ambient temperature and pressure. The method takes place under continuous flow over a photo-catalytic material using visible light to drive the conversion.
To help observe how the process works and how selective it is, the researchers used neutron scattering at the VISION instrument at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Spallation Neutron Source.