Plasma – Efficient for Chemical Conversion
Plasma, the fourth state of matter, is an ionized gas that has enough energy to liberate electrons from more stable atoms or molecules, creating highly reactive ions and radicals that can then recombine into new chemicals. The Transform Materials process begins with methane or similar light hydrocarbon gases as feedstock, all equally processable with the same equipment. Exposing the feed gas to finely tuned energy – created by microwave power – the reactor tears the gas molecules apart, allowing the fragments to combine to form different substances, including acetylene and hydrogen. The energized fragments of methane can also combine to form other compounds besides the ones that we want, but Transform has tuned its plasma energy system to maximize hydrogen and acetylene formation in high concentrations and with high purity, so that the very minor amounts of undesirable byproducts can be readily removed from the effluent.
Traditional technologies rely on combustion or other energy-intensive processes to produce chemicals like hydrogen and acetylene. Combustion combines the carbon in the fuel source with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide, which then enters the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas. Transform Materials has developed a powerful alternative to combustion, harnessing the energy of microwave-generated plasma to transform methane, our feedstock, into acetylene and hydrogen without combustion.