Researchers at the University of Illinois Chicago have discovered a way to convert methane into liquid methanol at room temperature. This is a big deal because methanol burns more cleanly (less carbon dioxide emissions) than burning methane (i.e. natural gas). Prior to this discovery by Chicago researchers, converting methane into methanol required a lot of heat and pressure that generates a significant amount of CO2 as a byproduct. There’s no real advantage to burning methanol created that way. This discovery sidesteps the heat and pressure needed to convert methane into methanol.