Original Paper

Plasma Chemistry and Plasma Processing

, Volume 32, Issue 6, pp 1139-1155

First online:

Wet Conversion of Methane and Carbon Dioxide in a DBD Reactor

  • Torsten KolbAffiliated withInstitute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • , Thorsten KrokerAffiliated withInstitute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • , Jan H. VoigtAffiliated withInstitute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • , Karl-Heinz GerickeAffiliated withInstitute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Email author 

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The influence of water on the plasma assisted conversion of methane and carbon dioxide in a dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) plug flow reactor was studied. The plasma at atmospheric pressure was ignited by a power supply at a frequency of 13.56 MHz. Product formation was studied at a power range between 35 and 70 W. The concentrations of the three gases were altered and diluted with helium to 3 %. FTIR spectroscopy and mass spectroscopy were applied to analyze the inlet and the product streams. The main product of this process are hydrogen, carbon monoxide and ethane. Ethene, ethine, methanol and formaldehyde are generated beside the main products in this DBD in lower concentrations. The conversion of methane, the ratio of the synthesis gas components (n(H2):n(CO)), and the yield of oxygenated hydrocarbons and hydrogen increases by adding water. The total consumed energy reaches lower values for small amounts of water. Additional water does not influence the generated amount of C2 hydrocarbons and of CO, but decreases the carbon dioxide conversion.


Dielectric barrier discharge Cold plasma Water Methane Carbon dioxide