A novel chemical liquefaction conversion process for one-step synthesis of natural gas to a methanol/acetic acid mixture is described. Previously reported homogeneous catalytic systems for carrying out methane coupling to CO2 are shown to work equally effectively with just methane. 13C labeling studies show that both carbons in the acetic acid originate from the methane. The reaction is therefore one of auto-oxidative coupling. The true yield is lower than previously claimed because the solubility of methane in the solvent needs to be taken into account.