A Gómez-Ramírez, J Cotrino, R M Lambert and A R González-Elipe

Plasma Sources Science and Technology, 24 (2015) 065011 7pp



A detailed study of ammonia synthesis from hydrogen and nitrogen in a planar dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) reactor was carried out. Electrical parameters were systematically varied, including applied voltage and frequency, electrode gap, and type of ferroelectric material (BaTiO3 versus PZT). For selected operating conditions, power consumption and plasma electron density were estimated from Lissajous diagrams and by application of the Bolsig + model, respectively. Optical emission spectroscopy was used to follow the evolution of plasma species (NH*,N*, ­N+­and­N* 2 2) as a function of applied voltage with both types of ferroelectric material. PZT gave both greater energy efficiency and higher ammonia yield than BaTiO3: 0.9 g NH3 kWh−1 and 2.7% single pass N2 conversion, respectively. This performance is substantially superior to previously published findings on DBD synthesis of NH3 from N2 and H2 alone. The influence of electrical working parameters, the beneficial effect of PZT and the importance of controlling reactant residence time

Efficient synthesis of ammonia from N2 and H2 alone in a ferroelectric packed-bed DBD reactor