HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Rome, Italy or Virtually from your home or work.
Chunshan Song, Speaker at Catalysis Conferences
The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Title : Recent advances in non-thermal plasma enhanced catalysis for CO2 conversion and SO2 reduction


Non-thermal plasma can activate various molecules that are thermally difficult to activate at low (or ambient) temperatures. Recent advances in non-thermal plasma-enhanced catalysis has made it possible to conduct difficult reactions at ambient temperatures for activating molecules such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and sulphur dioxide (SO2). Integrating non-thermal plasma such as dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) plasma with heterogeneous catalysts can enable the conversion of CO2 to chemicals and fuels (C2+ hydrocarbons, or C2+ alcohols) with H2 or H2O. Such a DBD plasma-metal sulfide catalyst combination can also allow direct reduction of SO2 into elemental sulphur in a single stage at low temperature. On the other hand, determining the origin of the plasma–catalysis synergy and reaction mechanisms in non-thermal plasma-enhanced catalytic reactions remains challenging because complex processes take place when coupling plasma with heterogeneous catalysts. We have designed a probe reaction to decouple plasma-induced surface reactions from plasma-phase reactions in SO2 reduction to S. The qualitative and quantitative analyses reveal a new Eley-Rideal reaction between plasma-generated atomic hydrogen in the gas phase and strongly adsorbed SO2 over alumina, a reaction that is not thermally feasible. Both catalytic advances and mechanistic insights will be discussed.

Audience take-away:

  • Recent advances in plasma-catalysis could allow people to find alternate ways to improve energy efficiency and tailor the reaction pathways in chemical processes.
  • This keynote presentation could allow other researchers and (post)graduate research students to expand their research approach in catalysis, energy, CO2 conversion and chemical processing research. 
  • The new approaches presented provide a practical solution to longstanding problem of acid gas SO2 conversion to elemental sulfur and CO2 conversion to value-added products. 
  • Advances in this area could enable breakthroughs in plasma catalysis for energy, fuels and CO2 utilization.


Dr. Chunshan Song is the Dean of Science and Professor of Chemistry at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the Pennsylvania State University. He received a BS (1982) in chemical engineering from Dalian University of Technology, China, and PhD (1989) in applied chemistry from Osaka University, Japan. His research focuses on chemistry and catalysis for energy and fuels including adsorptive CO2 separation, catalytic CO2 conversion, plasma catalysis, adsorptive and catalytic fuel processing and catalytic materials. He has ~400 articles in refereed journals and received American Chemical Society’s George Olah Award and Henry Storch Award.