АО ГНЦ «Центр Келдыша»

Plasma Methane Pyrolysis

The technology of plasma methane pyrolysis

for the production of hydrogen and acetylene using a megawatt power alternating current plasmatron.


Technology of plasma methane pyrolysis

The presented new opportunities of using plasmatrons, developed at Keldysh Research Center, for the plasma methane pyrolysis producing hydrogen and carbon in a solid phase, or acetylene, open opportunities providing a carbon footprint reduction in various natural gas applications as an energy carrier, as well as for the development of plasma chemistry in the interests of the national economy. Carbon black is a co-product of plasma methane pyrolysis, which is in demand in the domestic and global market. Its commercialization allows increasing economic effectiveness of hydrogen production.




The technology is characterized by a low power intensity (15 kW·h/kg of hydrogen) compared to water electrolysis (about 50 kW·h/ kg of hydrogen) and by the absence of harmful emissions (СО, СО2), which does not require additional costs for their disposal, unlike the steam reforming method or some other ones.



Accumulated experience

Plasmatrons are the sources of high-temperature gas (air, nitrogen, inert gases). They are intended to be used in technological plasma-chemical installations, including coating applications, power and nano-structural materials production. Moreover, they are used for industrial, domestic and medical waste recycling, and for scientific thermo-physical research.

Keldysh Research Center has a huge experience in creating and using powerful plasmatrons for testing materials and products of rocket & space technology, which are characterized by a simple design and a manufacturability.

Main Advantages:

  • Power supply from an industrial three-phase network, no additional transformers, rectifiers or frequency converters;
  • Symmetrical load of a three-phase network;
  • High reliability;
  • Simplicity and convenience of use;
  • Modular structure;
  • Uniform distribution of gas temperature and pressure at the exit of the nozzle.

A small installation with a power of 35 kW is created to test all stages of the process as well as for the separation of methane pyrolysis products.

The present technology and equipment can be used for hydrogen and acetylene production, and for its subsequent transportation to consumers.

The location in the premises of consumers will allow using the existing gas-transport system of a natural gas and it will significantly reduce costs of creating hydrogen and acetylene storage & transportation systems.

A large-scale production and consumption of hydrogen as an energy carrier, an energy storage and a raw material component of industrial technologies, as well as for the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions are the necessary directions today to improve the ecology of the environment.