994.    FISCHER, F., AND PETERS, K.  [Decomposition of Methane, and Coke-Oven Gas in Particular, at Low Pressure by Electric Discharge.]  Brennstoff-Chem., vol. 10, 1929, p. 108-113; Ges. Abhandl. Kenntnis Kohle, vol. 9, 1930, pp. 640-654; Chem. Abs., vol. 23, 1929, p. 4326.

     Orienting experiments were made at atmospheric pressures and temperatures ‑185 to 750 wherein CH4, coke-oven gas, and water gas were passed through a high-frequency-type ozone tube.  Very little decomposition of CH4 resulted, and the method was changed in that the discharge was passed directly through the gas maintained at low pressures, a Geissler-type tube of glass being used.  The best conditions for decomposition of CH4 were:  pressure 40 mm. Hg. gas flow 367 l./hr., reaction tube diameter 35-60 mm., voltage drop between electrodes spaced at 40 cm. 5,000-7,000 v. room temperature.  By starting with gas analyzing 2.8% CO2, 1.5% illuminants (C2H3-free), 1.2% O2, 5.4% CO, 52.3% H2, 23.4% CH4, and 13.4% N2, a gas containing 8.5% C2H2, 67.7% H2, and 4.8% CH4 was obtained by one passage through the tube.  The main reaction is considered to be 2CH4=C2H2+3H2-4,000 cal.  About 15% of the energy supplied does useful work.  Tar precipitated in the reaction tube is easily removed by passing water gas or air through the tube, electric discharge being maintained.  Experiments in which C10H8 was introduced into the reaction tube with H2 and N2 showed the reaction C10H8+H2+5N2=10HCN took place.