The goal of this project is to use plasma stimulation of a light hydrocarbon resource to synthesize value-added liquid chemicals. This work will evaluate the hypothesis that the plasma will serve multiple roles in this transformative chemistry including:
University of Notre Dame – Notre Dame, IN 46556
Flaring light hydrocarbons from wells and refineries amounts to a global, annual loss of >140 billion m3 of natural gas. Not only are valuable, non-renewable hydrocarbons misused during this process, but flaring also contributes more than 400 metric tons of CO2 to the environment. The implementation of chemical processing technology that directly converts light gases to liquid products will relieve the strain associated with gas separations and gas compression at the source.
The project offers the opportunity to assess a potential mechanism to reduce quantities of flared gas at oil and gas production sites, where gas transport options are insufficient or do not exist, by converting the gas to energy-dense liquid products. In addition to providing a value-added pathway for use of the gas, the proposed technology will also offer environmental and economic benefits through reduction of CO2 emissions caused by flaring of light hydrocarbon feeds and through the direct use of CO2 as a soft oxidant. All of these factors offer the potential to meaningfully contribute to ensuring America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy and environmental challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.
Project initiated March 1st.
Project activities initiated on March 1st and an initial project kickoff meeting was held on March 10th. The initial phase of the project is focused on plasma reactor design, assembly and validation as well as plasma and background chemistry characterization.