DIFFER researcher Bram Wolf will defend his PhD thesis titled “Thermal aspects of CO2 conversion in the vortex-stabilized microwave plasma” on 16 October 2020 from 11:00 - 12:00 CEST. The defense will take place at TU/e for a limited number of people, and can be followed online.
In the search for ways to produce CO2-neutral synthetic fuels to replace fossil sources, Bram Wolf and his colleagues at DIFFER have explored the use of microwave plasmas to efficiently break the CO2 molecule. A combination of experiments and modeling is used to show conclusively that both the reactor performance and the plasma-physical processes are correctly described by thermal reaction mechanisms. This finding resolves a long-lasting discussion about the fundamental nature of chemical processes in the plasma, by superseding previous notions of a dominant vibrational non-equilibrium process. This paradigm shift will facilitate future work on plasma reactor optimization.