Development and Testing of a Prototype Microwave Plasma Reactor for Hydrogen Recovery from Sabatier Waste Methane
In the Sabatier reactor, oxygen is recovered (as water) by hydrogenation of carbon dioxide. One half of the reacted hydrogen is contained within the product water, the other half is used to form methane (CH4). Hydrogen resupply requirements for the oxygen recovery process can be minimized by reclamation of hydrogen from the methane waste. To this end, we have developed effective methods for the recovery of hydrogen from CH4 using a microwave plasma reactor. By selectively promoting the oligomerization reaction which forms hydrogen and acetylene, up to 75% of the waste hydrogen can be recovered in a manner which minimizes the carbon fouling and carbon build-up problems which drastically reduce the long-term viability of traditional methane pyrolysis methods using fixed bed and fluidized bed reactors.