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

Type
Article

Authors
Liu, Jing-Lin Lin
Snoeckx, Ramses
Cha, Min Suk

KAUST Department
Clean Combustion Research Center
Mechanical Engineering Program
Physical Science and Engineering (PSE) Division

KAUST Grant Number
BAS/1/1384-01-01

Online Publication Date
2018-08-20

Print Publication Date
2018-09-26

Date
2018-08-20

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.

Citation
Liu J-L, Snoeckx R, Cha MS (2018) Steam reforming of methane in a temperature-controlled dielectric barrier discharge reactor: the role of electron-induced chemistry versus thermochemistry. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics 51: 385201. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1361-6463/aad7e7.

Acknowledgements
The research reported in this publication was supported by funding from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), under award number BAS/1/1384-01-01.

Publisher
IOP Publishing

Journal
Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics

DOI
10.1088/1361-6463/aad7e7

Additional Links
http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1361-6463/aad7e7

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