Effect of electric fields on plasma catalytic hydrocarbon oxidation from atomistic simulations

EC Neyts and KM Bal, PLASMA PROCESSES AND POLYMERS, 14, e1600158 (2017).

DOI: 10.1002/ppap.201600158

The catalytic oxidative dehydrogenation of hydrocarbons is an industrially important process, in which selectivity is a key issue. We here investigate the conversion of methanol to formaldehyde on a vanadia surface employing long timescale simulations, reaching a time scale of seconds. In particular, we compare the thermal process to the case where an additional external electric field is applied, as would be the case in a direct plasma-catalysis setup. We find that the electric field influences the retention time of the molecules at the catalyst surface. These simulations provide an atomic scale insight in the thermal catalytic oxidative dehydrogenation process, and in how an external electric field may affect this process.

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