Species and temperature measurements of methane oxidation in a nanosecond repetitively pulsed discharge

Joseph K. Lefkowitz, Peng Guo, Aric Rousso, Yiguang Ju

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Speciation and temperature measurements of methane oxidation during a nanosecond repetitively pulsed discharge in a low-temperature flow reactor have been performed. Measurements of temperature and formaldehyde during a burst of pulses were made on a time-dependent basis using tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy, and measurements of all other major stable species were made downstream of a continuously pulsed discharge using gas chromatography. The major species for a stoichiometric methane/oxygen/helium mixture with 75% dilution are H2O, CO, CO2, H2, CH2 O, CH3OH, C2H6, C2H4 and C2H2. A modelling tool to simulate homogeneous plasma combustion kinetics is assembled by combining the ZDPlasKin and CHEMKIN codes. In addition, a kinetic model for plasma-assisted combustion (HP-Mech/plasma) of methane, oxygen and helium mixtures has been assembled to simulate the measurements. Predictions can accurately capture reactant consumption as well as production of the major product species. However, significant disagreement is found for minor species, particularly CH2O and CH3OH. Further analysis revealed that the plasma-activated low-temperature oxidation pathways, particularly those involving CH3O2 radical reactions and methane reactions with O(1D), are responsible for this disagreement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20140333
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2048
StatePublished - Aug 13 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • General Mathematics


  • Ignition
  • Methane oxidation
  • Non-equilibrium plasma
  • Plasma-assisted combustion


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