In the frame of a cooperative research programme, a 100 kW
plasma pilot reactor was erected at IMP-CNRS and is now in operation. The objective of this Rand D project is to produce, under high temperature, carbon nanostructures by thermal decomposition of gaseous hydrocarbons in a
plasma arc. Probes and controllers have been set up in order to establish heat and mass balances into the reactor and to link the product quality with the experimental conditions. The main equipment is the following :
Heat balance : rms. current on each phase, rms. voltage between phases, water-cooled walls equipped with flow meters and thermocouples which permit a subsystems analysis, gas temperature and flow rate measurements. Mass balance : flow meter for gas inlet, weight of carbon particles collected in
the filter, gas phase analysis using a gas chromatography (G.C.).
Analysis of the plasma : chemical species resulting from hydrocarbon cracking in the plasma are analyzed by emission spectroscopy (E.S.).