Present study reports the application of non-thermal plasma approach for the partial oxidation of methane to methanol. The target was achieved by employing oxygen under ambient condition in a dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) reactor, which was later operated as a packed bed DBD. A variety of packing materials of different nature (Al2O3, TiO2, CeO2 and glass beads) are tested and corresponding reaction pathways also have been shown. In addition, the influence of the feed gas composition, total flow rate and specific input energy has been investigated. Formation of CH3OH, H2, CO, CO2, C2H6, and HCHO has been identified. Typical results indicated that the plasma reactor operating under a packed bed configuration showed better performance than the reactor without packing. Among the packing materials used, glass beads packing provided the best selectivity of ~35% to methanol, whereas, it was around 25% with DBD reactor without packing. In a similar manner, the yield of methanol increased to 5.4% with glass beads packing against 1.7% with DBD reactor with no packing. The good performance with glass beads packing is due to the uniform distribution of the microdischarges and improved filed strength. © 2018 Elsevier B.V.