Methanol Conversion from Methane and Water Vapor by Electric Discharge (Effect of Electric Discharge Process on Methane Conversion)

Kunio Hijikata, Kuniyasu Ogawa, Norimoto Miyakawa

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11 Citations (Scopus)


The possibility of methanol conversion from a methane and water-vapor gas mixture was investigated for a new and highly efficient energy conversion system. Reforming process of methanol to hydrogen can be used for low-temperature thermal energy utilization. Direct methanol production from a methane and water-vapor mixture by spark or glowlike discharges has been achieved experimentally. A high methanol mole fraction of 0.5% has been obtained by both discharges. The effects of applied high voltage time, total pressure, and ratio of gas mixture on the conversion efficiency have been clarified experimentally. The electric energy consumption for methanol production by the spark discharge method is 1/100 that by the glow discharge method. The methanol conversion process has also been analyzed theoretically by considering the dissociation of the initial mixture gas by electrons and 104 elementary reactions. The results suggest that a very short period energy input such as a spark discharge can effectively produce methanol compared with a steady-state discharge such as a glowlike discharge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)404-417
Number of pages14
JournalHeat Transfer - Asian Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Dec 1
Externally publishedYes



  • CH
  • CHOH
  • Conversion
  • Electric discharge
  • Plasma chemical reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes

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