Conversion of CO2 by Plasma Catalysis and Thermal Catalysis

  • Shanshan Xu

Student thesis: Phd


Catalytic conversion of CO2 (e.g., CO2 hydrogenation and dry reforming of methane with CO2, DRM) to valuable chemicals and fuels can be promising for addressing the issues associated with carbon emissions, benefiting the development of sustainable carbon cycling processes. The activation of CO2 by the conventional thermocatalytic conversions remains challenging due to the high thermodynamic stability of CO2. Non thermal plasma (NTP) can activate CO2 effectively and subsequently convert the activated species over heterogeneous catalysts under mild conditions compared with thermal catalysis, known as NTP-catalysis. Catalysts are the key in both the thermal and the hybrid NTP catalytic systems regarding efficiency, selectivity and stability. This PhD project was focused on the catalysts and catalytic processes development for CO2 hydrogenation and DRM, aiming at progressing the catalytic CO2 valorisation technologies. Specifically, the PhD project conducted (i) the development of supported Ru catalysts on MgAl layered double hydroxide for NTP-catalytic CO2 hydrogenation; (ii) the mechanistic study of CO2 hydrogenation over the Ru/MgAl catalysts under thermal and NTP conditions using in situ diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier (DRIFTS) coupled with mass spectrometry (MS) characterisation; (iii) the investigation of catalyst deactivation in CO2 hydrogenation, especially due to CO poisoning, under thermal and plasma condition to show the intrinsic benefits of NTP activation compared to the thermal counterpart; and (iv) the development of the encapsulated Ni catalysts and study of the effect of their different properties (e.g., metal dispersion and degree of encapsulation) on DRM reaction to provide rationales for further development of stable reforming catalysts for CO2 and CH4 co-conversion.
Date of Award31 Dec 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorXiaolei Fan (Supervisor), Sihai Yang (Supervisor) & Chris Hardacre (Supervisor)

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