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Chemical reactions in plasmas

One of the most promising emerging methods for reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in chemical industrial processes is plasma-based gas conversion. Plasmas offer opportunities to drive chemical conversions using electricity, replacing traditional pyrolytic processes which often involve a high carbon footprint. Typical compounds used for plasma-based processes are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), ammonia (NH3), from which reaction products such as carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen (H2), and ethylene (C2H4) can be formed.

Monitoring fast chemical reactions is of particular interest in studies to investigate and improve plasma-based conversions. Spectroscopy can provide the possibility to monitor parameters of the chemical reactions, such as concentrations of intermediate/final chemical products, transient free radicals and ions, as well as temperature and number densities of molecular excited-states.

In recent years, Time-Resolved Dual-Comb Spectroscopy (DCS) was used to investigate methane and ethane plasmas in a microsecond time-scale [1,2].

Furthermore, Supercontinuum Sources have been used to investigate reaction products of carbon dioxide - nitrogen plasmas, and carbon dioxide - methane plasmas [3].

More about this research?

[1] Abbas, M. A. et al. Time-resolved mid-infrared dual-comb spectroscopy. Scientific Reports vol. 9 (2019).

[2] Abbas, M. A. et al. Broadband Time-Resolved Absorption and Dispersion Spectroscopy of Methane and Ethane in a Plasma Using a Mid-Infrared Dual-Comb Spectrometer. Sensors vol. 20 6831 (2020).

[3] Krebbers, R. et al. Mid-infrared supercontinuum-based Fourier transform spectroscopy for plasma analysis. Scientific Reports vol. 12 (2022).
DOI:10.1038/s41598-022-13787-w. [Radboud Repository]