Power concentration determined by thermodynamic properties in complex gas mixtures: the case of plasma-based dry reforming of methane
We investigate discharge contraction in a microwave plasma at sub-atmospheric pressure, operating in CO2 and CO2/CH4 mixtures. The rise of the electron number density with plasma contraction intensifies the gas heating in the core of the plasma. This, in turn, initiates fast core-periphery transport and defines the rate of thermal chemistry over plasma chemistry. In this context, power concentration describes the overall mechanism including plasma contraction and chemical kinetics. In a complex chemistry such as dry reforming of methane, transport of reactive species is essential to define the performance of the reactor and achieve the desired outputs. Thus, we couple experimental observations and thermodynamic calculations for model validation and understanding of reactor performance. Adding CH4 alters the thermodynamic properties of the mixture, especially the reactive component of the heat conductivity. The increase in reactive heat conductivity increases the pressure at which plasma contraction occurs, because higher rates of gas heating are required to reach the same temperature. In addition, we suggest that the predominance of heat conduction over convection is a key condition to observe the effect of heat conductivity on gas temperature.
|Year of Publication
Plasma Sources Science and Technology
|Number of Pages
Plasma Sources Sci. Technol.