Plasma-catalytic dry reforming of methane in an atmospheric dielectric barrier discharge: Understanding the synergistic effect at low temperature

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    A coaxial dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) reactor has been developed for plasma-catalytic dry reforming of CH 4 into syngas over different Ni/γ-Al 2O 3 catalysts. Three different packing methods are introduced into the single-stage plasma-catalysis system to investigate the influence of catalysts packed into the plasma area on the physical properties of the DBD and determine consequent synergistic effects in the plasma-catalytic dry reforming reactions. Compared to the fully packed reactor, which strongly changes the discharge mode due to a significant reduction in the discharge volume, partially packing the Ni/γ-Al 2O 3 catalyst either in a radial or axial direction into the discharge gap still shows strong filamentary discharge and significantly enhances the physical and chemical interactions between the plasma and catalyst. Optical emission spectra of the discharge demonstrate the presence of reactive species (CO, CH, C 2, CO 2 + and N 2 +) in the plasma dry reforming of methane. We also find the presence of the Ni/γ-Al 2O 3 catalyst in the plasma has a weak effect on the gas temperature of the CH 4/CO 2 discharge. The synergistic effect resulting from the integration of the plasma and catalyst is clearly observed when the 10wt% Ni/γ-Al 2O 3 catalyst in flake form calcined at 300°C is partially packed in the plasma, showing both the CH 4 conversion (56.4%) and H 2 yield (17.5%) are almost doubled. The synergy of plasma-catalysis also contributes to a significant enhancement in the energy efficiency for greenhouse gas conversion. This synergistic effect from the combination of low temperature plasma and solid catalyst can be attributed to both strong plasma-catalyst interactions and high activity of the Ni/γ-Al 2O 3 catalyst calcined at a low temperature. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)439-448
    Number of pages9
    JournalApplied Catalysis B: Environmental
    Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2012


    • Dry reforming
    • Hydrogen
    • Optical emission spectroscopy
    • Plasma-catalysis
    • Synergistic effect


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