International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol.45, No.27, 13899-13910, 2020
Hydrogen production via catalytic pulsed plasma conversion of methane: Effect of Ni-K2O/Al2O3 loading, applied voltage, and argon flow rate
Despite industrial application of methane as an energy source and raw material for chemical manufacturing, it is a potent heat absorber and a strong greenhouse gas. Evidently reduction of methane emission especially in the natural gas sector is essential. Methane to hydrogen conversion through non-thermal plasma technologies has received increasing attention. In this paper, catalytic methane conversion into hydrogen is experimentally studied via nano-second pulsed DBD plasma reactor. The effect of carrier gas flow, applied voltage, and commercial Ni-K2O/Al2O3 catalyst loading on methane conversion, hydrogen production, hydrogen selectivity, discharge power, and energy efficiency are studied. The results showed that in the plasma alone system, the highest methane conversion and hydrogen production occurs at argon flow rate of 70 mL/min. Increase in the applied voltage increases the methane conversion and hydrogen production while it decreases the energy efficiency. Presence of 1 g Ni-K2O/Al2O3 catalyst shifts the optimum voltage for methane conversion and hydrogen production to 8 kV, reduces the required power, and increases the energy efficiency of the process. Finally in the catalytic plasma mode the optimum process condition occurs at the argon flow rate of 70 mL/min, applied voltage of 8 kV, and catalyst loading of 6 g. Compared with the optimum condition in the absence of catalyst, presence of 6 g Ni-K2O/Al2O3 catalyst increased the methane conversion, hydrogen production, hydrogen selectivity and energy efficiency by 15.7, 22.5, 7.1, and 40% respectively. (C) 2020 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.