, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 565-577
Date: 21 Jul 2010

Packed Bed DBD Discharge Experiments in Admixtures of N2 and CH4

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The physical, chemical and electrical properties of a coaxial Dielectric Barrier Discharge (DBD) fed by various mixtures of N2 and CH4 at atmospheric pressure and ambient temperature has been studied. FTIR spectral measurements of the products formed in the discharge have shown that the main chemical products are C2H2, HCN and C2H6 produced by dissociation of CH4, with small but significant traces of NH3.such a chemical transformation may provide some insight into the chemical processes prevalent in the atmosphere of Titan. During operation of the discharge a solid brown-yellowish deposit was formed on the central rod electrode and the dielectric pellets. Such a deposit is similar to that observed in other N2:CH4 discharges and is believed to be an analogue of the aerosol and dust observed in Titan’s atmosphere being composed of chemical species commonly known as ‘tholins’.