Technical Comments

Comment on “Activation of methane to CH3+: A selective industrial route to methanesulfonic acid”

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Science  10 May 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6440, eaax7083
DOI: 10.1126/science.aax7083


Díaz-Urrutia and Ott (Reports, 22 March 2019, p. 1326) report a selective conversion of methane to methanesulfonic acid that is proposed to occur by a cationic chain reaction in which CH3+ adds to sulfur trioxide (SO3) to form CH3–S(O)2O+. This mechanism is not plausible because of the solvent reactivity of CH3+, the non-nucleophilicity of the sulfur atom of SO3, and the high energy of CH3–S(O)2O+.

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