Revealing the arc dynamics in a gliding arc plasmatron: A better insight to improve CO2 conversion

Marleen Ramakers, Jose A. Medrano, Georgi Trenchev, Fausto Gallucci, Annemie Bogaerts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


A gliding arc plasmatron (GAP) is very promising for CO2 conversion into value-added chemicals, but to further improve this important application, a better understanding of the arc behavior is indispensable. Therefore, we study here for the first time the dynamic arc behavior of the GAP by means of a high-speed camera, for different reactor configurations and in a wide range of operating conditions. This allows us to provide a complete image of the behavior of the gliding arc. More specifically, the arc body shape, diameter, movement and rotation speed are analyzed and discussed. Clearly, the arc movement and shape relies on a number of factors, such as gas turbulence, outlet diameter, electrode surface, gas contraction and buoyance force. Furthermore, we also compare the experimentally measured arc movement to a state-of-the-art 3D-plasma model, which predicts the plasma movement and rotation speed with very good accuracy, to gain further insight in the underlying mechanisms. Finally, we correlate the arc dynamics with the CO2 conversion and energy efficiency, at exactly the same conditions, to explain the effect of these parameters on the CO2 conversion process. This work is important for understanding and optimizing the GAP for CO2 conversion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125002
Pages (from-to)1-12
JournalPlasma Sources Science and Technology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


  • arc dynamics modeling
  • CO conversion
  • gliding arc plasmatron
  • high-speed camera


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