Date of Award

Winter 12-6-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

MS Physics




Jose L. Lopez, PhD

Committee Member

Setrak Tanielyan, PhD

Committee Member

Erie Morales, PhD


Plasma, Catalysis, Methane, Catalyst, Plasma Catalysis, Physics


Plasma catalysis is an advantageous approach that combines the effects of plasma with the enhancements of a catalyst. By utilizing a nickel catalyst in the plasma discharge zone of a dielectric barrier discharge (DBD), it can give an enhancement to the electrical field, boost microdischarges, and increase conversion and selectivity rates of CH4 and CO2 in the dry reforming of methane (DRM) reaction.

Industrial application of nickel catalysts in DBD Plasma DRM process are limited by poor stability, which is caused by the sintering of active metal particles and coke deposition on the catalyst surface. In this work, the cold plasma-assisted DRM reaction was investigated in a specially assembled, fixed bed catalytic tube reactor using a traditional Ni/Al2O3 catalyst. A dedicated gas chromatographic system was used for in-situ analysis of the syngas products, generated from the plasma assisted DRM reaction.

The results of this study show that the plasma treatment of the catalyst during the reduction/activation stage does not significantly change the catalyst performance most likely due to generation of a similarly sized Ni particles.