Influence of hydrogen addition on methane coupling in a moderate pressure microwave plasma

M. Wnukowski (Corresponding author), A. W. van de Steeg, B. Hrycak, M. Jasiński, G. J. van Rooij

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15 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, the effect of hydrogen addition on methane coupling in a microwave moderate pressure (55 mbar and 110 mbar) plasma reactor has been studied. The use of optical emission spectroscopy allowed the determination of the rotational temperature of heavy particles and showed it to be in the range of 3000–4000 K. Due to the high temperature in the discharge the dominant product was acetylene and it was concluded that the methane coupling process is mainly through thermal decomposition with a key role of H radicals. It was revealed that the addition of hydrogen can increase both methane conversion and acetylene and ethylene yield and selectivity. With the CH4:H2 ratio of 1:1, the methane conversion increased from 31.0% to 42.1% (55 mbar) and from 34.0% to 48.6% (110 mbar), when compared to pure methane plasma. Respectively, the yield of acetylene increased from 14.4% to 25.3% (55 mbar) and from 20.1% to 34.0% (110 mbar). Moreover, the addition of hydrogen decreased the output of the problematic soot-like product. These results indicate that hydrogen addition can be a simple yet effective method of increasing selectivity to desirable products in plasma reforming of CH4.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119674
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2021


This work was supported by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education (subvention number 049M/0014/19) and received support from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) in the framework of the CO2-to-Products program with kind support from Shell, and the ENW PPP Fund for the top sectors.

FundersFunder number
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek
Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego049M/0014/19


    • Acetylene
    • Ethylene
    • Hydrogen
    • Methane coupling
    • Microwave plasma


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