The laboratory for Energy Intensified Reactor Engineering, together with several academic and industrial partners, performs ongoing research in the framework of an ERC Synergy project SCOPE on the application of novel structured catalysts in plasma flow reactors. This project aims at the design of a novel type of fast measuring technique in methane coupling into ethylene under non-thermal plasma conditions.
To attain optimal reactor performance, measurements for the local temperature and concentration distributions in the reactor should be attained in real-time. It has been proven that the TDLAS (tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy) is able to measure the temperature and concentration with the ultrafast response time. TDLAS is a technique that measures the absorption spectra of the selected gas using IR-lasers. The principle of TDLAS is based on Lambert Beer’s law. The main part of the TDLAS system is the diode laser of which, working wavelengths are adjusted to the range of absorptive wavelengths of the target gas.
In addition to the concentration measurements, the temperature dependency of the ratio of two dominant wavelengths is used for temperature calculations inside the reactor. The optical parameters are directly measured by changing the temperature and pressure of the target gas. In actual use of the optical experimental apparatus, the process of reducing the error between the theory and actual experiment is important. The calculation error of the method will be estimated from the temperature obtained from the TDLAS experiment and the temperature obtained with a thermocouple.
The primary objective of this research is to develop a method allowing to obtain reliable temperature and concentration maps for key components inside the chemical reactor. Then the catalytic reaction will be studied in real-time to determine the reactant conversion, product yields/selectivity’s as a function of several process parameters (flow rate, catalyst type, pressure etc.).
More details about the SCOPE project can found in the Warwick news