Steam reforming of methane in a temperature-controlled dielectric barrier discharge reactor: The role of electron-induced chemistry versus thermochemistry

Jing Lin Liu, Ramses Snoeckx, Min Suk Cha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

While classic reforming processes rely on heat and chemical equilibrium, plasma-based reforming processes possess the ability to induce non-equilibrium and reactive chemistry at low temperatures using high energy electrons. To better understand the distinctive roles of both electron-induced chemistry and thermochemistry during plasma-assisted fuel reforming, we previously developed a temperature-controlled dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) reactor, which controlled the gas temperature and the electron temperature independently. Here, we investigate plasma-assisted steam reforming of methane using the temperature-controlled DBD reactor and electron-kinetics calculations. We investigated the individual effects of the determining factors for electron-induced chemistry (i.e. reduced electric field intensity and discharge power) and for thermochemistry (i.e. background gas temperature) by varying the discharge power, gas temperature, and pressure inside the reactor. As a result, we found that both the electron-induced chemistry and thermochemistry governed the reactant conversions. Thermochemistry positively affected the methane conversion in particular, but negatively affected the water conversion as the gas temperature increased. The electron-induced chemistry weakly affected the product distribution, while the background temperature (thermochemistry) strongly influenced the product selectivity and composition by altering the chemical pathways involving the plasma-generated reactive species at the given temperature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number385201
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Volume51
Issue number38
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 20 2018

Keywords

  • electron-induced chemistry
  • methane
  • plasma reforming
  • steam reforming
  • thermochemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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