Investigating the effects of helium, argon and hydrogen co-feeding on the non-oxidative coupling of methane in a dielectric barrier discharge reactor

Pierre Andre Maitre, James Long, Matthew Simon Bieniek, Marcus N. Bannerman, Panagiotis Kechagiopoulos* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The impact of helium, argon, and hydrogen co-feeding on methane non-oxidative coupling in dielectric barrier discharges is investigated in terms of reaction pathways and energy efficiency. One-dimensional fluid simulations are used to investigate short time-scales. Zero-dimensional global modelling, using inputs from the one-dimensional simulations, is utilised to study time-scales equivalent to those of experimental reactors. A previously developed detailed kinetic scheme for non-thermal methane plasma that accounts for the reactivity and relaxation of electronically and vibrationally excited species is extended to describe the interactions of noble gases with the species within the methane plasma. A wide range of compositions and applied voltages are studied to determine the conditions that improve the energy efficiency of methane conversion and the selectivity to value-added products. Penning dissociation has a significant impact in the case of mixtures with high content of argon, while hydrogen co-feeding increases selectivity towards ethane and ethylene versus acetylene.
Original languageEnglish
Article number117731
Number of pages13
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Early online date17 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sept 2022

Bibliographical note

We acknowledge and greatly appreciate the assistance from Dr. Mihailova from Plasma Matters B.V. in working with the software Plasimo. The work was supported by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) New Investigator Award, grant no. EP/R031800/1. James Long was supported by a doctoral scholarship within the Leverhulme Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Production of Chemicals and Materials (DS-2017-073).

Data Availability Statement

Supplementary data associated with this article can be found, in
the online version, at


  • Methane valorisation
  • non-thermal plasma reactor
  • kinetic modelling
  • He, Ar, H2, co-feeding


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