(583fx) Analysis of Heterogeneous Catalytic Reactions in a Shock Tube

Smith, R., The City College of New York
Castaldi, M. J., City College of New York
Brezinsky, K., The University of Illinois in Chicago

This study focuses on the dominant reaction mechanism taking place in the catalytic partial oxidation of methane analyzed using a shock tube apparatus. This particular shock tube is the only one of its kind. It allows the reaction to be frozen in time for subsequent gas chromatography analysis by instantaneously raising the temperature and pressure of the reactants, then immediately quenching the reaction. The technique has indicated that the likely pathway to catalytic partial oxidation of methane is through complete oxidation. This was determined when a shock temperature and pressure of 362 K and 2.14 atm was applied to a reactant composition of 32 % O2, 27% CH4 and 22% N2 and 22% Ar for a test time of 25 milliseconds. Product gas analysis revealed 1% conversion of CH4 with a corresponding production of 1% CO2 and no partial oxidation products such as H2 or CO. By adjusting the temperature and pressure conditions of the shock , the intermediates of the catalytic partial oxidation of methane can be determined at various test times.