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Plasma-based CO2 conversion: State-of-the-art on reactor performance, and better understanding of the underlying mechanisms
June 25, 2020 from 9:00 am — 10:00 am
Zoom Webinar with Annemie Bogaerts
Department of Chemistry
University of Antwerp, Belgium
Plasma-based CO2 conversion is gaining increasing interest . To improve this application in terms of conversion, energy efficiency and product formation, a good insight in the underlying mechanisms is desirable. We try to obtain this by computer modelling, supported by experiments.
We will first provide a brief overview of the state of the art in plasma-based CO2 (and CH4) conversion, with different types of plasma reactors. Subsequently, we will present some recent results obtained in Antwerp in this domain, including experiments and modeling for a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms. This includes modeling the plasma chemistry as well as the reactor design, in different types of plasma reactors commonly used for gas conversion, i.e., dielectric barrier discharges (DBDs), gliding arc (GA) discharges, microwave (MW) plasmas and atmospheric pressure glow discharges (APGDs). For the plasma reactor design, we use 2D or 3D computational fluid dynamics modelling . For the plasma chemistry, we make use of zero-dimensional chemical kinetics modeling, which solves continuity equations for the various plasma species, based on production and loss terms, as defined by the chemical reactions .
We will focus especially on the the role of vibrationally excited CO2 levels, which are the key species for enhanced energy efficiency of the CO2 conversion, but also on thermal conversion and the role of quenching. Our model reveals the relative importance of various processes, responsible for the CO2 conversion, in a range of different conditions, and this is linked to the energy efficiency in the various types of plasma reactors.
We have also studied the plasma chemistry in CO2/CH4 and in CO2/H2O mixtures, with the purpose of producing value-added chemicals. The main products formed are a mixture of H2 and CO, or syngas, with a tuneable H2/CO ratio depending on the gas mixing ratio. The production of oxygenated compounds, such as methanol, formaldehyde, etc, is very limited, showing the need for combining with a catalyst. A detailed chemical kinetics analysis allows to elucidate the different pathways leading to the observed results, and to propose solutions on how to further improve the formation of value-added products.
Finally, we also try to elucidate whether plasma can be formed inside catalyst pores, for different pore sizes and materials, of interest for plasma catalysis.
 R. Snoeckx and A. Bogaerts, Chem. Soc. Rev. 46, 5805-5863 (2017).
 A. Bogaerts, A. Berthelot, S. Heijkers, St. Kolev, R. Snoeckx, S. Sun, G. Trenchev, K. Van Laer and W. Wang, Plasma Sources Sci. Technol. 26, 063001 (2017).
 A. Bogaerts, C. De Bie, R. Snoeckx and T. Kozák, Plasma Process. Polym. 14, e1600070 (2017).
Annemie Bogaerts obtained her M.Sc. and PhD diplomas at the University of Antwerp, in 1993 and 1996, and is professor since 2003, and full professor since 2012. She is the head of the research group PLASMANT, which she started “from scratch”, and which currently counts almost 50 members. Her research focuses on plasma chemistry, plasma reactor design and plasma-surface interactions, both by experiments and modeling, for various applications, but mostly for environmental/energy applications (gas conversion, plasma catalysis) and medical applications (cancer treatment).
She has about 500 peer-reviewed publications since 1995, and above 14,500 citations, with a H-index of 57 (Web of Science) (above 21,000 citations and H-index of 70 in Google Scholar). Furthermore, she has more than 150 invited lectures at international conferences (since 1998) and more than 60 invited seminars at universities/institutes (since 1995), in various countries. She was the supervisor of 35 finished PhD theses (since 2005), and is now supervising 24 PhD students (incl. several joint PhD students), and 15 postdocs.
In 2013-2016, she was Francqui Distinghuished Research Professor. In 2019, she obtained the prestigious ERC Synergy Grant.
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