Modelling excited species and their role on kinetic pathways in the non-oxidative coupling of methane by dielectric barrier discharge

P-A Maitre, M S Bieniek, Panagiotis Kechagiopoulos* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

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A detailed kinetic scheme for non-thermal methane plasma is developed that considers the reactivity and relaxation of electronically and vibrationally excited species. An atmospheric pressure dielectric barrier discharge reactor for methane non-oxidative coupling is modelled. Via 1D fluid modelling short periods of time are investigated, while for longer periods of time, on the order of the reactor residence time, a combined 1D-0D approach is followed. Modelling results are in good qualitative agreement with literature experiments. Around 86% of the energy input is found to channel into the creation of excited species. The vibrationally excited states of methane exhibit very transient responses due to their rapid formation during electron streamers and fast quenching by VV and VT processes. The, higher energy, electronically excited states are rapidly converted, many of which essentially instantly dissociate. Over 70% of methane’s conversion proceeds via electronical excitation, while the contribution of vibrationally excited states is limited.
Original languageEnglish
Article number116399
Number of pages18
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Early online date6 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

We acknowledge and greatly appreciate the assistance from Dr. Mihailova from Plasma Matters B.V. in working with the software Plasimo and from Dr Marcus Campbell Bannerman from the University of Aberdeen for providing access to the computational cluster used for carrying out the simulations in this work.
The work was supported by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) New Investigator Award, grant no. EP/R031800/1.


  • non-thermal plasma
  • dielectric barrier discharge
  • non-oxidative methane coupling
  • excited states
  • kinetic modelling
  • energy channelling


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