Plasma-catalytic conversion of greenhouse gas into value-added fuels and chemicals

    • Presentation speakers
      • Dr Xin Tu, Senior Lecturer, University of Liverpool

    The rapid exhaustion of fossil fuel reserves and the adverse effects of climate change caused by increasing global energy demands have attracted great attention and pose serious threats to humankind. The emergence of new energy technologies is very crucial and essential to reduce the negative effects of climate change and to ensure global energy security based on sustainable and renewable energy sources.
    Recently, the combination of non-thermal plasma and heterogeneous catalysis (known as plasma-catalysis) has been regarded as a promising and effective solution for the conversion of greenhouse gas (e.g. CH4 and CO2) into value-added fuels and chemicals (e.g. H2 and liquid fuels) at low temperatures (<200 oC) [1]. The combination of plasma and catalysts has the great potential to generate a synergistic effect, which can activate catalysts at low temperatures and improve the activity and stability of the catalysts, resulting in the remarkable enhancement of reactant conversion, selectivity and yield of end-products, as well as the energy efficiency of the process [2]. The idea of plasma-catalysis has also been extended to the synthesis, preparation and modification of catalysts to improve the activity and stability of the catalyst.
    We have developed different plasma sources (dielectric barrier discharge and gliding arc) for a diverse range of low carbon energy applications including the conversion of CH4 and CO2 into hydrogen and liquid fuels and removal of tars from biomass gasification [1-4]. The integration of plasma and supported metal catalysts clearly exhibits a significant synergistic effect, showing both the conversion of reactants and the yield of target products are significantly enhanced at low temperatures compared to the reaction using plasma alone or catalysis alone.


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