Plasma Chemistry and Plasma Processing

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 89–108 | Cite as

The Role of Atomic Oxygen and Ozone in the Plasma and Post-plasma Catalytic Removal of N2O

  • Mohammad Zangouei
  • Brian S. HaynesEmail author
Original Paper


The destruction of nitrous oxide in oxygen using plasma and post-plasma catalytic treatments was investigated experimentally in atmospheric-pressure dielectric barrier (DBD) and gliding arc (GAD) discharges. In the DBD, ~ 7% of the N2O is destroyed with ~ 70% selectivity to NOx whereas the GAD gives rise to greater conversion (~ 23%) with lower NOx selectivity (~ 30%). A gas-phase plasma kinetic model was developed and used to analyse the chemical reaction pathways involved in the plasma environment: in the room temperature DBD, the primary destruction process is reaction with O(1D), with the branching ratio to form 2NO versus N2 + O2 determining the product selectivity. On the other hand, in the hot GAD environment (~ 900 K), the reaction of ground-state O with N2O to form N2 + O2 becomes more important. The use of a catalytic bed after the DBD reactor resulted in significant enhancement of N2O conversion from 6.8 to 28.0%. A surface mechanism for the catalytic dissociation of N2O in the presence of O3 is proposed, whereby N2O reacts with the adsorbed atomic oxygen, released from ozone dissociation, to form N2 and NO in approximately equal proportions.


N2O destruction Plasma modeling Dielectric barrier discharge Gliding arc discharge Catalytic reaction mechanism Ozone 



The authors thank Dr. Sisi Zheng from School of Chemical and Biomoelcular Engineering at the University of Sydney for her assistance during experiments.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Chemical and Biomolecular EngineeringThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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