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Plasma-Thermal Synthesis

Idaho National Laboratory

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Technology Marketing Summary

INL’s Plasma-Thermal Synthesis process improves the conversion process for natural gas into liquid hydrocarbon fuels.


This process provides a method and apparatus for increasing acetylene yield from the thermal conversion of natural gas. The reactants inserted into the reactor chamber are applied at a high temperature of ionized gas. At this time, the reactants are changed to the desired product. This technology used in this process is called “Plasma Arc Technology”, which high-energy plasma arc creates high temperatures ranging from 3000 degrees to 7000 degrees Celsius. The “plasma” is highly ionized gas. The intense of the plasma breaks down reactants’ molecules into atoms, and these atoms are recombined into gases such as carbon dioxide.


-        Alternate process for producing acetylene.

Applications and Industries

Natural gas, energy resource, hydrocarbon, conversion, thermal

Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Patent 7,232,975
Plasma generators, reactor systems and related methods
A plasma generator, reactor and associated systems and methods are provided in accordance with the present invention. A plasma reactor may include multiple sections or modules which are removably coupled together to form a chamber. Associated with each section is an electrode set including three electrodes with each electrode being coupled to a single phase of a three-phase alternating current (AC) power supply. The electrodes are disposed about a longitudinal centerline of the chamber and are arranged to provide and extended arc and generate an extended body of plasma. The electrodes are displaceable relative to the longitudinal centerline of the chamber. A control system may be utilized so as to automatically displace the electrodes and define an electrode gap responsive to measure voltage or current levels of the associated power supply.
Idaho National Laboratory 06/19/2007
Patent 7,741,577
Modular hybrid plasma reactor and related systems and methods
A device, method and system for generating a plasma is disclosed wherein an electrical arc is established and the movement of the electrical arc is selectively controlled. In one example, modular units are coupled to one another to collectively define a chamber. Each modular unit may include an electrode and a cathode spaced apart and configured to generate an arc therebetween. A device, such as a magnetic or electromagnetic device, may be used to selectively control the movement of the arc about a longitudinal axis of the chamber. The arcs of individual modules may be individually controlled so as to exhibit similar or dissimilar motions about the longitudinal axis of the chamber. In another embodiment, an inlet structure may be used to selectively define the flow path of matter introduced into the chamber such that it travels in a substantially circular or helical path within the chamber.
Idaho National Laboratory 06/22/2010
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
BA-065, B-289DevelopmentLicensed - Technology may be available for licensing in specific fields of use.09/04/201210/19/2015

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