Electron-induced dry reforming of methane in a temperature-controlled dielectric barrier discharge reactor

Xuming Zhang, Min Suk Cha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Dry reforming of methane has the potential to reduce the greenhouse gases methane and carbon dioxide and to generate hydrogen-rich syngas. In reforming methane, plasma-assisted reforming processes may have advantages over catalytic processes because they are free from coking and their response time for mobile applications is quick. Although plasma-assisted reforming techniques have seen recent developments, systematic studies that clarify the roles that electron-induced chemistry and thermo-chemistry play are needed for a full understanding of the mechanisms of plasma-assisted reformation. Here, we developed a temperature-controlled coaxial dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) apparatus to investigate the relative importance of electron-induced chemistry and thermo-chemistry in dry reforming of methane. In the tested background temperature range 297-773 K, electron-induced chemistry, as characterized by the physical properties of micro-discharges, was found to govern the conversions of CH4 and CO2, while thermo-chemistry influenced the product selectivities because they were found to depend on the background temperature. Comparisons with results from arc-jet reformation indicated that thermo-chemistry is an efficient conversion method. Our findings may improve designs of plasma-assisted reformers by using relatively hotter plasma sources. However, detailed chemical kinetic studies are needed. © 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415205
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number41
StatePublished - Sep 23 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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