Reactions of water vapor or molecular hydrogen with trichloroethylene in a microwave plasma reactor

Joseph W. Bozzelli, Robert B. Barat

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22 Scopus citations


The reaction of trichloroethylene (C2HCl3) with water vapor or molecular hydrogen has been studied in a low-pressure [ca. 5 Torr (0.67 kPa)] microwave plasma tubular flow reactor. The experimental apparatus included feed introduction systems, a microwave plasma reactor, and full product analysis by flame ionization and thermal-conductivity gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, and specific ion or pH detection for hydrogen chloride [HCl]. Conversions of C2HCl3 in the range 50 to almost 100% are achieved. Product analyses indicate conversion to HCl, some light hydrocarbons, nonparent chlorocarbons, and soot C(s). For the H2O case, carbon monoxide and trace carbon dioxide were produced in place of some light hydrocarbons and C(s). At least 85 mole % of chlorine (Cl) from the converted parent C2HCl3 forms thermodynamically stable HCl at parent conversions of 80% or more. The remaining chlorine was present as nonparent chlorocarbons. Preliminary kinetic analyses were performed. The global reaction in the plasma was found to follow one-half-order kinetic dependence on each of C2HCl3 and H2O or H2. Elementary plasma reaction mechanisms are presented to account for C2HCl3 conversion and the observed product distribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-314
Number of pages22
JournalPlasma Chemistry and Plasma Processing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1988
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


  • Microwave plasma
  • chlorinated hydrocarbon
  • global kinetic analysis


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