http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/environment/clean-hydrogen-energy-can-allegedly-be-produced-from-methane/article/396606

Clean hydrogen energy can allegedly be produced from methane

Posted Aug 12, 2014 by Walter McDaniel
Researcher Fabio B. Noronha claims that he and his team with the National Institute of Technology may have found a way to convert methane into hydrogen energy.
Methane can also be trapped in other forms  as with the bubbles here.
Methane can also be trapped in other forms, as with the bubbles here.
U.S. Geological Survey
Previous attempts to transfer methane energy to hydrogen failed due to carbon which interrupted the process. Now Noronha claims that his team has found a way to remove the intervening carbon in an interview with Phys.
Hydrogen energy is extremely clean and provides a high level of power for those who use it. Therefore government agencies promote its use. Unfortunately large quantities of hydrogen are not commonly available, we have a few hot spots but not enough to power a country. If this technology can transfer methane into hydrogen then we have found a valuable new energy source.
Cows also do more damage to the atmosphere than cars so by removing their methane from the cycle and using it as energy we could also improve the global warming situation.
One catalyst is the key to this a perovskite-type oxide which is held up by the ceramic component ceria. Findings state that this combination is able to trap carbon before it can interrupt the methane-to-hydrogen process. Noronha and his team also claim that they will be able to produce and even better form of this catalyst in the future. Readers should note that another team needs to review their findings before the story moves from "allegation" to "fact".
Methane can also be used as a source of energy in and of itself. Once again efficiency is the limitation here because only small amounts of useful energy come from the process. Therefore it is not the last answer for our energy needs.
Previous scientific studies attempted the same sort of methane transformation but researchers did not overcome the natural characteristics of each material. Other researchers are also seeking to translate it into "useful chemicals".