Special Issue "Plasma-Based Processes for Improved Energy Efficiency"

A special issue of Processes (ISSN 2227-9717). This special issue belongs to the section "Other Topics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 February 2019)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Jose A. Medrano Jimenez

Eindhoven University of Technology, Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, Inorganic Membranes and Membrane Reactors Research Group, Room 1.47, Helix-west, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Website | E-Mail
Interests: membrane reactors; membrane systems; process evaluation; process design; plasma technology; fluidization technology
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Fausto Gallucci

Eindhoven University of Technology, Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, Inorganic Membranes and Membrane Reactors Research Group, Room 1.45, Helix-west, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +31 40 247 3675
Interests: Process design and intensification; Membrane and membrane reactors; Separation technologies

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the last decades, researchers and industries have been able to make use of one of the oldest processes occurring on Earth—plasma processes—for many applications. Plasma technology involves several phenomena, and its description requires a multidisciplinary approach based on physics, chemistry, electricity, etc. The first plasma-based industrial application was developed by Siemens in the 1800s for ozone production. Since then, plasma technology has found many different industrial applications. Surface treatment in the microelectronics industry represents the main use of plasma technology, and it includes the deposition of thin films or etching. Other applications of plasma include lamps, lasers, ozone production, or sterilization of samples in the biomedical field. Analytical spectrochemistry—where sputtered atoms are excited by a plasma and the photons emitted can be measured by optical emission spectrometry—represents another well stablished application of plasma technology. In recent years, plasma technology has also gained attention for the production of chemicals demanding high energy consumption, such as nitrogen fixation, methane reforming and non-oxidative coupling, and CO2 utilization. In particular, the production of NOx and NH3 in containerized units in remote areas is foreseen to be a breakthrough technology for a rapid increase in the wealth of developing countries. The current research in plasma processes is not limited to experimental demonstration. In fact, many works on the modeling and fundamental understanding of these chemical reactions have also recently been presented in the literature.

This Special Issue on “Plasma-Based Processes for Improved Efficiencies” aims at covering recent advances in the development and application of plasma processes from a chemical reaction engineering point of view, and also addressing the main challenges that should be solved to launch this technology to the market. The topics of this special issue include, but are not limited to:

  • Techno-economic analysis of plasma processes and roadmaps for commercialization;
  • Experimental demonstration of novel catalytic and non-catalytic plasma reactors for chemical production;
  • Modeling of plasma processes; and
  • Plasma reaction mechanisms.

Dr. Jose A. Medrano Jimenez
Prof. Dr. Fausto Gallucci
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Processes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1100 CHF (Swiss Francs). Please note that for papers submitted after 30 June 2019 an APC of 1200 CHF applies. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Plasma processes
  • Plasma reactors
  • Techno-economics of plasma processes
  • Plasma modeling
  • Plasma efficiency

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Investigation of Nonthermal Plasma Assisted Charcoal Gasification for Production of Hydrogen-Rich Syngas
Processes 2019, 7(2), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr7020114
Received: 30 January 2019 / Revised: 14 February 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 21 February 2019
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Abstract
The motivation of this work is to investigate experimentally the influence of nonthermal plasma (NTP) application on the reaction kinetics of atmospheric pressure steam gasification of charcoal using a thermostatically controlled drop tube reactor. A gliding-arc generator provides about 1 kW electrical power [...] Read more.
The motivation of this work is to investigate experimentally the influence of nonthermal plasma (NTP) application on the reaction kinetics of atmospheric pressure steam gasification of charcoal using a thermostatically controlled drop tube reactor. A gliding-arc generator provides about 1 kW electrical power NTP. For comparison thermal gasification is investigated under comparable flow and specific energy input conditions providing additional heat to the steam. Optical temperature measurement 20 cm flow down of the NTP zone is utilized to characterize the specific enthalpy of the reactive flow. The composition of produced syngas is measured by a gas analyzer and used for the calculation of gas flow rates. The results show a NTP-enhancement on the production of individual syngas components (H2, CO, CH4), especially on hydrogen production by around 39%. The syngas-based carbon conversion and hydrogen release are calculated from the carbon and hydrogen balance between the correspondent content in syngas and in the feedstock. The NTP promoted the carbon conversion and hydrogen release by 25% and 31%, respectively. The first-order reaction kinetics are determined by data-fitting in an Arrhenius diagram. The plasma enhanced the reaction rate coefficients by 27%. Based on experimental results and other literature, possible plasma-induced reactions are proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasma-Based Processes for Improved Energy Efficiency)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Process Modeling and Evaluation of Plasma-Assisted Ethylene Production from Methane
Processes 2019, 7(2), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr7020068
Received: 14 January 2019 / Revised: 28 January 2019 / Accepted: 28 January 2019 / Published: 1 February 2019
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Abstract
The electrification of the petrochemical industry, imposed by the urgent need for decarbonization and driven by the incessant growth of renewable electricity share, necessitates electricity-driven technologies for efficient conversion of fossil fuels to chemicals. Non-thermal plasma reactor systems that successfully perform in lab [...] Read more.
The electrification of the petrochemical industry, imposed by the urgent need for decarbonization and driven by the incessant growth of renewable electricity share, necessitates electricity-driven technologies for efficient conversion of fossil fuels to chemicals. Non-thermal plasma reactor systems that successfully perform in lab scale are investigated for this purpose. However, the feasibility of such electrified processes at industrial scale is still questionable. In this context, two process alternatives for ethylene production via plasma-assisted non-oxidative methane coupling have conceptually been designed based on previous work of our group namely, a direct plasma-assisted methane-to-ethylene process (one-step process) and a hybrid plasma-catalytic methane-to-ethylene process (two-step process). Both processes are simulated in the Aspen Plus V10 process simulator and also consider the technical limitations of a real industrial environment. The economically favorable operating window (range of operating conditions at which the target product purity is met at minimum utility cost) is defined via sensitivity analysis. Preliminary results reveal that the hybrid plasma-catalytic process requires 21% less electricity than the direct one, while the electric power consumed for the plasma-assisted reaction is the major cost driver in both processes, accounting for ~75% of the total electric power demand. Finally, plasma-assisted processes are not economically viable at present. However, future decrease in electricity prices due to renewable electricity production increase can radically affect process economics. Given that a break-even electricity price of 35 USD/MWh (without considering the capital cost) is calculated for the two-step plasma process and that current electricity prices for some energy intensive industries in certain countries can be as low as 50 USD/MWh, the plasma-assisted processes may become economically viable in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasma-Based Processes for Improved Energy Efficiency)
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Open AccessArticle A Parameter Study of the Effect of a Plasma-Induced Ozone Colour-Fading Process on Sulphur-Dyed Cotton Fabric
Processes 2018, 6(7), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr6070081
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 1 June 2018 / Accepted: 7 June 2018 / Published: 28 June 2018
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Abstract
A plasma-induced ozone colour-fading treatment was used for treating a blue sulphur-dyed knitted cotton fabric. Since the process parameters of plasma-induced ozone colour-fading treatment are inter-related with one other, the final colour-fading results are affected. An orthogonal array testing strategy (OATS) method was [...] Read more.
A plasma-induced ozone colour-fading treatment was used for treating a blue sulphur-dyed knitted cotton fabric. Since the process parameters of plasma-induced ozone colour-fading treatment are inter-related with one other, the final colour-fading results are affected. An orthogonal array testing strategy (OATS) method was used for determining the optimum conditions of the plasma-induced ozone colour-fading treatment in this study. Three process parameters used in the plasma-induced ozone colour-fading treatment, i.e., oxygen gas concentration (%), water content in fabric (%), and treatment time (minutes), were used in the optimization process. Experimental results reveal the optimum conditions for fading the colour by plasma-induced ozone colour-fading treatment are: (1) oxygen gas concentration = 70%; (2) water content in fabric = 35%; and (3) treatment time = 30 min. The order of importance of these parameters is: oxygen gas concentration > water content in fabric > treatment time. In addition, the plasma-induced ozone colour-fading treatment can effectively remove the colour from the dyed fabric and the colour-fading effect is uniform and even. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasma-Based Processes for Improved Energy Efficiency)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessFeature PaperReview Recent Progress of Plasma-Assisted Nitrogen Fixation Research: A Review
Processes 2018, 6(12), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr6120248
Received: 5 November 2018 / Revised: 24 November 2018 / Accepted: 30 November 2018 / Published: 3 December 2018
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Abstract
Nitrogen is an essential element to plants, animals, human beings and all the other living things on earth. Nitrogen fixation, which converts inert atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia or other valuable substances, is a very important part of the nitrogen cycle. The Haber-Bosch process [...] Read more.
Nitrogen is an essential element to plants, animals, human beings and all the other living things on earth. Nitrogen fixation, which converts inert atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia or other valuable substances, is a very important part of the nitrogen cycle. The Haber-Bosch process plays the dominant role in the chemical nitrogen fixation as it produces a large amount of ammonia to meet the demand from the agriculture and chemical industries. However, due to the high energy consumption and related environmental concerns, increasing attention is being given to alternative (greener) nitrogen fixation processes. Among different approaches, plasma-assisted nitrogen fixation is one of the most promising methods since it has many advantages over others. These include operating at mild operation conditions, a green environmental profile and suitability for decentralized production. This review covers the research progress in the field of plasma-assisted nitrogen fixation achieved in the past five years. Both the production of NOx and the synthesis of ammonia are included, and discussion on plasma reactors, operation parameters and plasma-catalysts are given. In addition, outlooks and suggestions for future research are also given. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasma-Based Processes for Improved Energy Efficiency)
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