A FUNDAMENTAL PARAMETRIC STUDY AND REACTION KINETICS OF TOLUENE DECOMPOSITION USING NON THERMAL PLASMA
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the atmosphere have become a major environmental and industrial concern. Although several conventional methods to remove VOCs exist, most methods fail to remove the pollutants in dilute concentration and chemical methods are too expensive to treat VOCs for such diluted
concentrations. Alternatively, non-thermal plasma (NTP) has been known to produce oxidizing species which react-with and breakdown VOCs. To this end, surface non-thermal plasma at atmospheric pressure is used to decompose toluene, a VOC. This study provides a fundamental parametric study on the total energy used for plasma discharge, and the effects of carrier gas flowrates. The decomposition of toluene in oxygen and
nitrogen are also compared with fundamental reaction kinetics. The NTP is a dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) in which the carrier gas flows through a 0.25-inch diameter and 3-inch length DBD reactor operated at 50 and 100 Watts. The carrier gasses were tested at flowrates of 200 and 500 mL/min and analyzed with a gas chromatographer. The results indicated that the highest percent of toluene conversion was for oxygen flowing at 200 mL/min using 100 W of power at 83.6 % conversion rate.