A reactor for reactive co-conversion of heavy hydrocarbons and hydrocarbon gases and includes a dielectric barrier discharge plasma cell having a pair of electrodes separated by a dielectric material and passageway therebetween. An inlet is provided for feeding heavy hydrocarbons and other reactive materials to the passageway of the discharge plasma cell, and an outlet is provided for discharging reaction products from the reactor. A packed bed catalyst may optionally be used in the reactor to increase efficiency of conversion. The reactor can be modified to allow use of a variety of light sources for providing ultraviolet light within the discharge plasma cell. Methods for upgrading heavy hydrocarbons are also disclosed.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
The United States Government has certain rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC07-99ID13727, and Contract No. DE-AC07-05ID14517 between the United States Department of Energy and Battelle Energy, LLC.