Electrodeless microwave plasmas in carbon dioxide at atmospheric pressure have been studied for carbon dioxide decomposition. Plasma optical emission spectroscopy has been conducted to measure ro-vibrational temperatures of the plasma. It is found that the temperature reaches 6200 K at the plasma center and there is little difference between the trans-rotational and vibrational temperatures. Kinetic simulations considering the trans-rotational, vibrational, and electron temperatures separately are also conducted to investigate the details of the plasma decomposition of carbon dioxide. As observed in the measurements, the kinetic simulation demonstrated that the difference between the trans-rotational and vibrational temperatures is negligible, and all the carbon dioxide within the plasma is found to be decomposed into carbon monoxide and atomic oxygen, as a result of the extremely high temperatures of the plasma. The carbon monoxide and oxygen then recombine as the temperature decreases, forming mostly carbon dioxide at the reactor exit. From the results, although the electrons in the microwave plasma selectively populate the molecules' vibrational states, the fast relaxation of these excited vibrational states raises the gas temperature instead of resulting in accumulative vibrational excitation for the efficient decomposition of carbon dioxide.
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© 2017 Author(s).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Physics and Astronomy