Plasma for Gas Conversion Group
Low temperature plasmas (non-equilibrium or thermal) for conversion of abundant molecules into value-added chemicals is an emerging technology that, due to its fast response time, is suitable for use with the intermittent renewable sources. The focus of our group is on the conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2) into carbon monoxide (CO) using microwave plasmas, as well as hydrogen production and storage via microwave-driven pyrolysis of methane (CH4) and synthesis/decomposition of ammonia (NH3) using dielectric barrier discharges.
The Plasma for Gas Conversion Group (P4G) investigates CO2 microwave plasmas up to atmospheric pressure for the production of CO with focus on fundamental plasma processes. The important insights in the underlying conversion mechanisms gained by investigating non-equilibrium plasmas, where electron collisions determine the plasma chemistry, and thermal plasmas, characterized by temperature-driven processes, enable the design of advanced plasma reactors with improved efficiency.
A dielectric barrier discharge reactor is used with the aim of investigating the synergetic effect between the plasma and catalytic surfaces placed in contact with it on the gas conversion. The rich environment of the plasma (e.g. electrons, photons, radicals, excited species) coupled with the material properties (e.g. dielectric constant, porosity, active sites) have the potential to open up alternative reaction pathways for the conversion of molecules at atmospheric pressure.
These laboratory-scale plasmas are investigated by a suite of diagnostics, such as Two-Photon Laser-Induced Fluorescence, Optical Emission Spectroscopy, and Mass Spectrometry. The experimental activities are supported by modelling efforts relying on fluid-electromagnetic modelling and fluid dynamic simulations of microwave discharges.
The Plasma For Gas Conversion Group (P4G). From left to right: Madhuwanthi Buddhadasa, Christian K. Kiefer, Stefan Buchberger, Pirmin Almanstötter, Ursel Fantz, Arne Meindl, Ante Hecimovic, Rodrigo Antunes.
Photo: Axel Griesch
Photo: Axel Griesch
Dielectric Barrier Discharge (DBD)