Methane pyrolysis - Subproject U2: Plasma-heated methane pyrolysis

In dem Verbundvorhaben Methanpyrolyse (Me²H2) wird die Erzeugung von klimafreundlichem Wasserstoff aus Erdgas erforscht. Zwar existieren bereits Verfahren um Erdgas in Wasserstoff umzuwandeln, diese sind jedoch nicht sehr klimafreundlich. Bei dem sogenannten Steam Reforming (Dampfreformierung) wird der Wasserstoff aus heißem Wasserdampf und Methan gewonnen. Als Nebenprodukt entsteht CO2, which has no further use and is released into the environment. Methane pyrolysis, on the other hand, produces only carbon and other hydrocarbons in addition to hydrogen. In addition, only a fraction of the energy that would be required for water electrolysis, for example, is needed.

Together with the chairs EP2 (Experimental Physics 2) and LTC (Technical Chemistry) the plasma assisted methane pyrolysis is investigated experimentally using two different plasma sources: a microwave discharge and a gliding arc plasmatron (see picture). The focus is on the efficiency of the process as well as the quality of the produced carbon. At AEPT, the gliding arc plasmatron is being optimized for this purpose. By changing the geometry, the gas flow and the electrical parameters of this plasma source, gas temperatures between 2000 and 6000 Kelvin can be achieved. The Gliding Arc Plasmatron is therefore a promising plasma source since the gas temperature can be optimized with respect to the process. This experimental work is additionally supported by simulations carried out at the TU Dortmund University.