Raynard Christianson Sanito1,2, Ya-Wen Chen2, Sheng-Jie You2,3,4, Hsi-Hsien Yang5, Yen-Kung Hsieh6, Ya-Fen Wang This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.2,3,4

1 Department of Civil Engineering, Chung Yuan Christian University, Taoyuan 32023, Taiwan
2 Department of Environmental Engineering, Chung Yuan Christian University, Taoyuan 32023, Taiwan
3 R & D Centre for Membrane Technology, Chung Yuan Christian University, Taoyuan 32023, Taiwan
4 Center for Environmental Risk Management, Chung Yuan Christian University, Taoyuan 32023, Taiwan
5 Department of Environmental Engineering and Management, Chaoyang University of Technology, Taichung 413310, Taiwan
6 Marine ecology and conservation research center, National Academy of Marine Research, Kaohsiung 80661, Taiwan


Received: May 22, 2020
Revised: July 14, 2020
Accepted: July 14, 2020

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2020.05.0252  

Cite this article:

Sanito, R.C., Chen, Y.W., You, S.J., Yang, H.H., Hsieh, Y.K. and Wang, Y.F. (2020). Hydrogen and Methane Production from Styrofoam Waste Using an Atmospheric-pressure Microwave Plasma Reactor. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20: 2226–2238. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2020.05.0252


  • Hydrogen and methane production from PSF waste are discussed in this manuscript.
  • PSF waste can be recycled as gases in an atmospheric-pressure microwave plasma reactor.
  • Nitrogen gas produces better concentration of hydrogen and methane compared to argon gas.
  • Microwave power plays an important role to generate an optimum hydrogen and methane.


Polystyrene foam (PSF), which is widely used in oyster farming in Taiwan, generates approximately 120,000–200,000 pieces of floating waste annually. The issues related to processing this waste, however, include the financial cost, incinerator clogs, human exposure to carcinogenic and non-biodegradable components, and potential debris, which threatens the seashore. In this study, we obtained methane (CH4) and hydrogen (H2), two crucial gases in power generation, by treating PSF waste with an atmospheric-pressure microwave plasma reactor. Substituting argon with nitrogen as the carrier gas and increasing the microwave power (1200 W) produced a higher concentration of H2 (4739 ppm) but a lower one of CH4 (less than 300 ppm). Treating a larger quantity of waste (0.2 g) resulted in CH4 and H2 levels of 19,657 ppm and 440 ppm, respectively. SEM-EDX and XRD testing confirmed the transformation of the PSF structure and a reduction in carbon (C) content in the final residue. This research demonstrates how solid waste can be recycled into valuable gases by applying plasma technology.

Keywords: CH4; H2; Microwave power; Nitrogen; PSF.

Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20 :2226 -2238 . https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2020.05.0252  

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