Kinetic Study for Plasma Assisted Cracking of NH3: Approaches and Challenges

Seunghwan Bang, Ramses Snoeckx, Min Suk Cha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Ammonia is considered as one of the promising hydrogen carriers toward a sustainable world. Plasma assisted decomposition of NH3 could provide cost- and energy-effective, low-temperature, on-demand (partial) cracking of NH3 into H2. Here, we presented a temperature-dependent plasma-chemical kinetic study to investigate the role of both electron-induced reactions and thermally induced reactions on the decomposition of NH3. We employed a plasma-chemical kinetic model (KAUSTKin), developed a plasma-chemical reaction mechanism for the numerical analysis, and introduced a temperature-controlled dielectric barrier discharge reactor for the experimental investigation using 1 mol % NH3 diluted in N2. As a result, we observed the plasma significantly lowered the cracking temperature and found that the plasma-chemical mechanism should be further improved to better predict the experiment. The commonly used rates for the key NH3 pyrolysis reaction (NH3 + M ↔ NH2 + H + M) significantly overpredicted the recombination rate at temperatures below 600 K. Furthermore, the other identified shortcomings in the available data are (i) thermal hydrazine chemistry, (ii) electron-scattering cross-section data of NxHy, (iii) electron-impact dissociation of N2, and (iv) dissociative quenching of excited states of N2. We believe that the present study will spark fundamental interest to address these shortcomings and contribute to technical advancements in plasma assisted NH3 cracking technology.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalThe Journal of Physical Chemistry A
StatePublished - Jan 19 2023

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-01-23
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): BAS/1/1384-01-01
Acknowledgements: The research reported in this publication was funded by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), under award number BAS/1/1384-01-01.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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