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Enhanced Hydrogen Generation Efficiency of Methanol using Dielectric Barrier Discharge Plasma Methodology and Conducting Sea Water as an Electrode


In this work, methanol decomposition method has been discussed for the production of hydrogen gas with the application of plasma. A simple dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) plasma reactor was designed for this purpose with two types of electrode. The DBD plasma reactor was experimented by substituting one of the metal electrodes with feebly conducting sea water which yielded better efficiency in producing hydrogen gas. Experimental parameters such as; discharge voltage and time were varied by maintaining a discharge gap of 1.5 mm and the plasma discharge characteristics were studied. Filamentary type micro-discharges were found to be formed which was observed as numerous streamer clusters in the current waveform. Gas chromatographic study confirmed the production of hydrogen gas with residence time around 3.6 min. Although, the concentration (%) of H2 was high (98.1 %) and consistent with copper electrode assembly, the rate of formation and concentration was found to be the highest (98.7 %) for water electrode for specific discharge voltage. The energy efficiency was found to be 0.5 mol H2/kWh and 1.2 mol H2/kWh for metal (Cu) and water electrodes respectively. The electrode material significantly affects the plasma condition and hence the rate of hydrogen production. Compositional analysis of the water used as electrode showed a minimal change in the composition even after the completion of the experiment as compared to the untreated water. Methanol degradation study shows the presence of untreated methanol in the residue of the plasma reactor which has been confirmed from the absorption spectra.

Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain
Countries: India

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