Hydrogen production by plasma catalysis
The aim of the project is to meet a demand of chemical-engineering plant market in reliable technological equipment for the production of synthetic gas and hydrogen by natural gas conversion. Currently over 90 % of world volume of the hydrogen produced is obtained by catalytic steam conversion of natural gas. The basic problem of this method is sulphur compounds poisoning and high capital coefficient of catalytic reactors.
New approach to the development of the method of synthetic gas production from methane based on use of non-equilibrium plasma to accelerate reforming is proposed. The foundation of the project is the experimental data on synthetic gas (hydrogen) production by steam conversion in non-equilibrium barrier discharge. [O M. Tukhto, M R. Predtechensky1, D A. Shestakov. THE CATALYTIC EFFECT OF DIELECTRIC BARRIER DISCHARGE ON METHANE CONVERSION BY STEAM, 15th International Symposium on Plasma Chemistry, Orléans, France, , 2001, pp. 2957-2960]. It was shown that synthetic gas is efficiently produced in barrier discharge at the temperature about 600°C
CH4+H2O => 3H2+CO.
In this case power costs to maintain barrier discharge are insignificant (thus, much less than at synthetic gas production in equilibrium plasma). In fact, ions formed in non-equilibrium plasma play a role of catalyzator. The important characteristic of barrier discharge is the possibility to enable a reaction at atmospheric pressure and higher what is a great advantage over other types of non-equilibrium discharges.
Energetic parameters of this process correspond to hydrogen obtaining in traditional catalytic process. However, since no use of catalyzator capital costs of making catalytic reactors decrease, the problem of catalyzator poisoning disappears and respectively no preliminary high gas purification is required. It can significantly lower the cost of hydrogen production.
The project will result in a new market product - barrier discharge plasma chemical reactors to reform natural gas and purification of technological effluents from hybohydrates.