Cold Plasma Water Disinfection Technology

How Cold Plasma Disinfects Water

Cold plasma, also known as non-thermal plasma, is an ionized gas that acts as an excellent electric conductor. When applied to ordinary fresh water, it transforms the water into Plasma Activated Water (PAW) through an acidic environment and the formation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. PAW exhibits different chemical characteristics than water and has the potential for microbial disinfection. Plasma activated water technology offers advantages such as low energy consumption, high pollutant degradation efficiency, and short treatment time, making it a promising technique for water disinfection.

Plasma Activated Water

The Cold Plasma Process

Water is directed into a specialized equipment chamber where hardware and software create a layer of cold plasma within an oxygen "cloud." This cold plasma generates positively charged ions that are attracted to an electrode beneath a sheet of water in the chamber. As these ions are injected at the atomic or molecular level, they pass through the water and create ultra-fine bubbles of oxygen gas that remain suspended in the liquid. Controlled doses of naturally occurring reactive oxygen species (ROS) are also introduced to the water, resulting in a dual-mode Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) that utilizes both radicals and dissolved oxygen for highly effective pathogen mitigation.

Plasma Injection Process

The Role of Reactive Oxygen Species

Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) are highly reactive molecules and free radicals that contain oxygen atoms. They play a crucial role in various biological and chemical processes. In the context of water disinfection, ROS acts as a powerful naturally occurring disinfectant. Cold plasma generates various ROS, such as hydroxyl radicals, superoxide radicals and singlet oxygen, which contribute to the disinfection and oxidizing properties of the plasma. 

Reactive oxygen species have the ability to mitigate organic bacteria and pathogens, as well as other pollutants, contributing to the fight against diseases, pests, biofilm, and algae. Overall, ROS exhibit strong disinfecting properties and offer a more environmentally friendly approach to water treatment, reducing reliance on synthetic chemicals and promoting sustainable water management practices.

Reactive Oxygen Species

Advantages of Cold Plasma Water Treatment

Low Energy Consumption: Compared to traditional water disinfection methods that may require high energy inputs, cold plasma treatment consumes relatively less energy. This reduces costs and promotes sustainable resource management.

High pollutant Degradation Efficiency: The reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated during the process have strong oxidizing properties, allowing for effective mitigation of a wide range of pollutants

Short Treatment Time: The treatment time required for cold plasma water disinfection is relatively short compared to other conventional methods.

Minimal Chemical Usage: ROS, being naturally occurring disinfecting compounds, provide an alternative approach to water treatment that minimizes the need for harsh chemicals and synthetic additives. This reduces the potential for harmful chemical residues in treated water and lowers the environmental impact.

Sustainable Water Management: By utilizing ROS and cold plasma technology, water disinfection can be carried out in a more sustainable manner.

Versatile Applications: Apart from water disinfection, these technologies can be utilized in agriculture for seed decontamination, enhancement of germination, and fertilizer production. They also find application in air and surface cleaning, as well as in the disinfection of processing tools and packaging materials, thereby promoting overall hygiene and safety

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