According to this wikipedia page, hydrogen can combine with the carbon found in carbon steel to form some methane inside the steel, weakening it. Is is possible to convert hydrogen to methane by putting it through graphite powder or activated carbon?

Note that I mainly want the reaction to occur at STP. The flow of the gas through the graphite will be very slow (at the speed it is generated by electrolysis), so maybe catalysts not needed?

The purpose of this is to form a more energy-dense fuel than pure hydrogen. Also, it will be much safer since methane is less flammable.

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    $\begingroup$ Yes of course, at high pressure and > ~800°C, in a chemical plant, can also produce other hydrocarbons. Ancient technology, Germans did it in large scale in WW2 because they couldn't get at petrol otherwise. "Fischer-Tropsch" process. Don't try to do it at home. $\endgroup$ – Karl Mar 25 '16 at 11:06
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    $\begingroup$ Actually the Fischer-Tropsch process is to produce higher alkanes, alkenes, and alkanols. Making methane is not FT but is simply referred to as methanation. It's just the reverse of steam methane reforming. $\endgroup$ – Curt F. Mar 25 '16 at 13:39
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    $\begingroup$ As an alternative, the Sabatier reaction transforms $\ce{H2}$ and $\ce{CO2}$ into $\ce{CH4}$ and $\ce{H2O}$. $\endgroup$ – hBy2Py Mar 25 '16 at 15:03

Is it possible to efficiently convert hydrogen to methane?

No. You'll end up putting more energy into the process than you'll get out of burning the methane less the energy of burning the hydrogen that you started from. So although you can make methane from hydrogen, it isn't "efficient."


Yes. Wood and Wise reported reaction and kinetics between solid graphite and gaseous atomic hydrogen (450-1200°K) to give molecular hydrogen and methane as products, with maximum production near 800°K. They also proposed reaction mechanism.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm not talking about atomic hydrogen, rather about molecular hydrogen gas ($\ce{H2}$). $\endgroup$ – sadljkfhalskdjfh Aug 13 '16 at 12:03

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