Analysis of a methanol decomposition process by a nonthermal plasma flow

Takehiko Sato, Makoto Kambe, Hideya Nishiyama

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18 Citations (Scopus)


In the present study, experimental and numerical analyses were adopted to clarify key reactive species for methanol decomposition processes using a nonthermal plasma flow. The nonthermal plasma flow was generated by a dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) as a radical production source. The experimental methods were as follows. Working gas was air of 1-10 Sl/ min. The peak-to-peak applied voltage was 16-20kV with sine wave of 1 Hz-7 kHz. The characteristics of gas velocity, gas temperature, ozone concentration and methanol decomposition efficiency were measured. Those characteristics were also numerically analyzed using conservation equations of mass, chemical component, momentum and energy, and state of equation. The simulation model takes into account reactive species, which have chemical reaction with the methanol. The detailed reaction mechanism used in this model consists of 108 elementary reactions and 41 chemical species. Inlet conditions are partially given by experimental results. Finally, effects of reactive species such as O, OH, H, NO, etc. on methanol decomposition characteristics are numerically analyzed. The results obtained in this study are summarized as follows. (1) Existence of excited atoms of O, N and excited molecular of OH, N2(B3Πg), N2(A3u+), NO are implied in the discharge region. (2) The methanol below 50 ppm is decomposed completely by using DBD at discharge conditions as V = 16 kVpp and f = 100 Hz. (3) The reactive species are most important factor to decompose methanol, as the full decomposition is obtained under all injection positions. (4) In numerical analysis, it is clarified that OH is the important radical to decompose the methanol.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)432-439
Number of pages8
JournalJSME International Journal, Series B: Fluids and Thermal Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Feb 15


  • Chemical reaction
  • Experimental analysis
  • Methanol decomposition
  • Non-equilibrium
  • Numerical analysis
  • Plasma
  • Radical


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