Mathematical modelling of the methane conversion to heavier hydrocarbons in a plasma reactor

  • Kazemeini M
  • Zare M
  • Fattahi M
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Abstract

In this study, mathematical modeling of fixed-bed plasma reactor operated under isothermal condition was investigated. In this process, methane and acetylene were the inputted feed and ethane, ethylene, propylene, propane, i-butane, and n-butane were the output products. The amount of methane conversion obtained was 12.7% for the former feed, however, if pure methane was inputted this conversion rose to 13.8%. Furthermore, the plasma process enhanced the conversion as well as the selectivity toward the desired product and yield. In the present study, when methane and acetylene were fed at a molar ratio of CH4/C2H2 = 10 to the reactor, the selectivity of C2, C3, and C4 hydrocarbons was determined to be 30%, 24%, and 44%; respectively. A comparison between the thermal and the plasma process showed that the methane conversion and production yield in the plasma process were higher than in the thermal process under the same operating conditions. On the other hand, product selectivity in the plasma process was determined to be lower than that of the thermal process. Finally, results of the methane conversion processes in the plasma phase were compared with those available in the open literature. © 2014 Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Author-supplied keywords

  • acetylene
  • heavy hydrocarbons
  • methane conversion
  • modeling
  • plasma reactor

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