The conversion of straight-chain alkanes into branched-chain alkanes by cracking or by catalytic reaction. It is used in petroleum refining to produce hydrocarbons suitable for use in gasoline. Benzene is also manufactured from alkane hydrocarbons by catalytic reforming. Steam reforming is a process used to convert methane (from natural gas) into a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, which is used to synthesize organic chemicals. The reaction CH4+H2O → CO+3H2 occurs at about 900°C using a nickel catalyst.
CH4+H2O → CO+3H2