ABSTRACT Biomass conversion by plasma has the advantage of mainly producing gaseous products, H2, CO and CO2. Though the thermal plasma has been used for this conversion, the plasma temperature is too high to be unfit for the conversion biomass. The temperature of cold plasma, however, is lower under 3000 K. It expects to be adequate for biomass conversion. Cold plasma can be obtained with irradiation microwave (2.45 GHz) or radio frequency (13.5 MHz) under reduce gas pressure. Therefore, in present study, the effective decomposition of cellulose by microwave plasma (MWP) and radio frequency plasma (RFP) is examined. The conversion of cellulose by MWP (XMWP) is higher than that by RFP (XRFP), irrespective of the reaction time. XMWP and XRFP reach 92.8 wt% at 10 min and 68.1 wt% at 30 min. The maximum yield of gaseous products (Ygas) by MWP is 85.1 wt% at 10 min, higher by 23.2 wt% than Ygas by RFP at 30 min. The amount of H2 and CO obtained by MWP is 18.0 mmol/g and 23.5 mmol/g, it is larger than that obtained by RFP. Comparing the relationship between conversion and yield, Ygas of MWP is slightly higher than that of RFP under X of 60 wt%, and both Ygas is almost same over 60 wt%. The amount of H2 and CO obtained by MWP is larger by 9.3 mmol/g and 9.6 mmol/g than that obtained by RFP. C, H and O element in cellulose is mainly distributed to H2 and CO by MWP. RFP mainly distributes H and O element to the other gases without H2 and CO. In addition, a large amount of C element is remains in the residue. Those results is found that MWP was more suitable for cellulose gasification than RFP, since MWP can highly convert C, H and O element to H2 and CO by higher energy of microwave frequency in comparison with radio frequency.
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