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Role of CO2 in the Conversion of Toluene as a Tar Surrogate in a Nonthermal Plasma Dielectric Barrier Discharge Reactor

Saleem, Faisal, Zhang, Kui, Harvey, Adam
Energy & fuels 2018 v.32 no.4 pp. 5164-5170
carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, fuels, hydrogen, models, synergism, temperature, toluene
The decomposition of toluene (a model tar compound) in CO₂ was investigated at ambient and elevated temperatures in a dielectric barrier discharge (DBD). The effects of reaction parameters, such as the residence time (0.47–4.23 s), plasma power (5–40 W), toluene concentration (20–82 g/Nm³), and temperature (20–400 °C), were investigated. The DBD was shown to be an effective technique for tar removal. The percentage removal of tar increased with increasing the plasma power and residence time (to as high as 99% at the residence time of 4.23 s). The maximum selectivity to the two major gaseous products, CO and H₂, was 73.5 and 21.9%, respectively. Solid residue formation was also observed inside the reactor. The synergetic effect of the temperature and plasma power was studied. As temperature increased, the decomposition of toluene decreased slightly from 99 to 88% (from ambient to 400 °C at 40 W) and the selectivity of CO and H₂ decreased as a result of the increased rate of recombination of CO and O. The selectivity to lower hydrocarbons increased with the temperature.