Propane conversion at ambient temperatures C-C and C-H bond activation using cold plasma in a microreactor

A. Agiral, C. Trionfetti, Kulathuiyer Seshan, Leonardus Lefferts, Johannes G.E. Gardeniers

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In this work, the oxidative conversion of propane was studied using a dielectric barrier discharge microreactor. This generates a cold microplasma at atmospheric pressure and ambient temperatures. Surprisingly, large amounts of products with molecular weight higher than propane, such as C4 and C4+, were mainly observed due to C-C bond formation, in contrast to what is usually observed for this reaction when it is carried out under thermal activation, which leads to cracking products. A chemical kinetic model was developed to better understand the radical reaction network. Interestingly, the results suggest that (i) at lower level of propane conversion the model can nicely predict the experimental results and (ii) depending on the radical density the product selectivity can be tailored. In particular, at higher radical density, enhanced C-C bond formation was observed.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)1116-1123
Number of pages8
JournalChemical engineering and technology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Dielectric barrier discharge
  • Microplasma
  • Micro-reactor
  • IR-72342
  • Kinetic modeling
  • METIS-249755
  • Propane

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