Post-plasma quenching to improve conversion and energy efficiency in a CO2 microwave plasma

E.R. Mercer (Corresponding author), S. van Alphen, C.F.A.M. van Deursen, T.W.H. Righart, W.A. Bongers, R. Snyders, A. Bogaerts, M.C.M. van de Sanden, F.J.J. Peeters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
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Transforming CO2 into value-added chemicals is crucial to realizing a carbon–neutral economy, and plasma-based conversion, a Power-2-X technology, offers a promising route to realizing an efficient and scalable process. This paper investigates the effects of post-plasma placement of a converging–diverging nozzle in a vortex-stabilized 2.45 GHz CO2 microwave plasma reactor to increase energy efficiency and conversion. The CDN leads to a 21 % relative increase in energy efficiency (31 %) and CO2 conversion (13 %) at high flow rates and near-atmospheric conditions. The most significant performance improvement was seen at low flow rates and sub-atmospheric pressure (300 mbar), where energy efficiency was 23 % and conversion was 28 %, a 71 % relative increase over conditions without the CDN. Using CFD simulations, we found that the CDN produces a change in the flow geometry, leading to a confined temperature profile at the height of the plasma, and forced extraction of CO to the post-CDN region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126734
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (grant agreement No 810182 – SCOPE ERC Synergy project) and the Excellence of Science FWO-FNRS project (FWO grant ID GoF9618n, EOS ID 30505023). The computational resources and services used in this work were provided by the HPC core facility CalcUA of the Universiteit Antwerpen, and VSC (Flemish Supercomputer Center), funded by the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO) and the Flemish Government. In addition, this work has been carried out as part of the Plasma Power to Gas research program with reference 15325, which is by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) and Alliander N.V.


  • CO conversion
  • CO dissociation
  • Nozzle
  • Plasma-based conversion
  • Power-2-X
  • Thermal plasma


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