The project aims to develop catalytic processes for the direct selective oxidation of methane and ethane to oxygenates, preferably methanol and ethanol respectively. Novel catalysts will be developed based on catalytic particles on nano-structured supports. The preparation of the nano-structured supports and the synthesis of the catalysts will be studied and the catalysts characterized in detail by a range of physico-chemical techniques to achieve a fundamental understanding of the parameters controlling the generation of the active materials. The catalysts will be evaluated systematically for selective oxidation of methane and ethane over a wide range of reaction conditions using various oxidants in both continuous and transient reactor systems. The effect of reaction conditions will be investigated extensively to establish the optimum parameters for the highest yield and the highest selectivity towards oxygenates production.