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Experimental and theoretical study of the fundamental mechanisms of nitrogen fixation by plasma and plasma-catalysis: towards the development of novel, environmentally friendly and efficient processes (NITROPLASM).

Nitrogen is a crucial element for living organisms on earth. Transforming atmospheric N2 into molecules that can be incorporated by most organisms (N2 fixation) is either done by microorganisms or through energetically costly chemical processes (lightning strikes, Haber- Bosch (H-B) process). As the theoretical limit for the energy consumption of N2 fixation via non-thermal plasma (NTP) is more than 2.5 times lower than the energy consumption of the H-B process, this project aims to exploit NTP processes to fix N2 by reduction and by oxidation. The objective is to acquire an in depth understanding of the N2 fixation mechanisms in N2/O2 and N2/CH4 plasmas by combining experimental and numerical investigations of a wide range of gas and plasma-liquid discharges. To increase the N2 fixation rate and the yield, plasma catalysis will also be studied in the same gas mixtures. Catalysts will be prepared traditionally but also by plasma-based calcination and plasma-based modification of supports and synthesized catalysts. By successfully completing this project, we will gain fundamental understanding of the mechanisms and master plasma assisted N2 fixation in the gas phase, liquid phase and on catalyst surfaces.
Date:1 Jan 2018  →  Today
Disciplines:Applied mathematics in specific fields, Classical physics, Physics of gases, plasmas and electric discharges, Physical chemistry
Project type:Collaboration project