Plasma Chemistry and Plasma Processing

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 163–173 | Cite as

Decomposition of methane in an AC discharge

  • Mark E. Fraser
  • Daniel A. Fee
  • Ronald S. Sheinson


This paper presents qualitative and quantitative product analysis results from an atmospheric-pressure AC discharge of nitrogen containing trace levels of methane and oxygen. In the absence of oxygen the primary products were unreacted methane, hydrogen, and hydrogen cyanide. Methane destruction efficiency was unaffected by trace oxygen addition; however, hydrogen and hydrogen cyanide levels decreased and the concentrations of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and water increased as the level of added oxygen increased. The only cyanide compound that persisted with air as the bulk gas was cyanogen. A chemical mechanism is presented which qualitatively explains the observed product distributions.

Key words

Air purification AC discharge discharge chemistry methane reactions active nitrogen hydrogen cyanide 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark E. Fraser
    • 1
  • Daniel A. Fee
    • 1
  • Ronald S. Sheinson
    • 1
  1. 1.Chemistry Division, Code 6180Naval Research LaboratoryWashington, D.C.

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