Synthesis Gas Cleanup with Nonthermal Plasma

Advanced Fossil Energy Utilization
2011 AIChE Spring Meeting
AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
March 14, 2011 - 8:00pm

Plasma processes are very useful in industry because plasma has the unique characteristic of producing active species in large numbers of energetic species than conventional chemical processes. Nonthermal plasma (NTP), such as corona or glow discharge plasmas, is widely used for generating such active species. Synthesis gas produced from coal gasification requires cleanup for further application. To elucidate the possible reactions, including side reactions, in syngas cleanup with nonthermal plasma, a series of simulated gases were fed into a noncatalytic nonthermal plasma tubular reactor, and the results were summarized as follows:

1) Under nonthermal plasma conditions, no reaction was observed between CO and H2O;

2) The reaction of CO2, water, and dilute gas N2 gave only 1 mol% of CO2 conversion;

3) For the reaction of SO2 with water and dilute gas N2, the highest SO2 conversion rate was 21.1 mol% at 15.3 kV; Water vapor facilitated the reactions since the hydroxyl radicals generated from water molecules are active oxidant;

4) For the water-gas shift reaction (CO + H2O ? CO2 + H2), the highest conversion rate for the reaction of CO with H2O was only 0.34 mol% at 200°C;

5) For the reaction of CO2 with water and diluent gas N2, the CO2 conversion extent was only ~1 mol%;

6) For the reaction of CO2 with hydrogen and diluent gas N2, the highest conversion rate for CO2 was 8.9 mol%, and 0.6 mol% of CH4 was produced. It was also observed that, without NTP, the reaction of CO2 and H2 was extremely temperature dependent, and 0.85% of CO2 conversion was obtained at 550°C in the preheater;

7) For the reaction CO with H2, no significant reaction was observed for the reaction of CO with H2 under NTP condition.

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