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Development of water vapor plasma torch and its application for thermal conversion of coal tar into synthesis gas and advanced carbon materials

Grant number: 22/00271-3
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: September 01, 2022 - August 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Aerospace Engineering
Principal Investigator:Alexei Essiptchouk
Grantee:Alexei Essiptchouk
Host Institution: Instituto de Ciência e Tecnologia (ICT). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de São José dos Campos. São José dos Campos , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers:Antonio Carlos Varela Saraiva ; Argemiro Soares da Silva Sobrinho ; Eduardo Sant Ana Petraconi Prado ; Felipe de Souza Miranda ; Gilberto Petraconi ; Marcelo Pêgo Gomes


Rapid economic development leads to a steady increase in the volume of industrial, municipal and healthcare waste and requires a technology, effective and environmentally friendly, to reduce the negative effects of industrialization. An advanced and efficient method (in terms of energy and resources) in addition to being ecologically correct is the thermal plasma treatment. At the moment, thermal plasma treatment methods are still not widespread, mainly due to the lack of reliable and efficient plasma generators. To eliminate this gap, the project aims to develop and patent a non-transferred arc plasma torch that uses water vapor both as the cooling and plasma forming agent. That technical solution significantly increases the torch thermal efficiency and plasma jet enthalpy. In this project, it is planned to develop a numerical model of the plasma torch with two-phase flow (mixture of water and its steam) in order to evaluate the thermal fluxes and temperature distribution in components of the plasma torch. Then, for the manufacture of the torch, technical drawings (in CAD) will be prepared. The experimental tests of the steam plasma torch will be carried out, focusing on its thermal and electrical characteristics that will be compared with ones of the conventional torch. At the end, the torch will be installed in a laboratory gasifier where the tar pitch will be processed in order to obtain, in addition to synthesis gas, the advanced nanostructures carbonaceous material. (AU)

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