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Plasma Sci. Technol. ›› 2018, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (6): 065512.doi: 10.1088/2058-6272/aab301

• Plasma Technology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Applying chemical engineering concepts to non-thermal plasma reactors


 Pedro AFFONSO NOBREGA1, Alain GAUNAND2, Vandad ROHANI1, François CAUNEAU1 and Laurent FULCHERI1


  1.   1 MINES ParisTech, PSL Research University, PERSEE—Centre for Processes, Renewable Energy and Energy Systems, CS 10207 rue Claude Daunesse F-06904 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France
    2 MINES ParisTech, PSL Research University, CTP—Centre for Thermodynamics of pProcesses, 35 rue St Honoré F-77300 Fontainebleau, France
  • Received:2018-01-25 Published:2018-02-28


Process scale-up remains a considerable challenge for environmental applications of non-thermal plasmas. Undersanding the impact of reactor hydrodynamics in the performance of the process is a key step to overcome this challenge. In this work, we apply chemical engineering concepts to analyse the impact that different non-thermal plasma reactor configurations and regimes, such as laminar or plug flow, may have on the reactor performance. We do this in the particular context of the removal of pollutants by non-thermal plasmas, for which a simplified model is available. We generalise this model to different reactor configurations and, under certain hypotheses, we show that a reactor in the laminar regime may have a behaviour significantly different from one in the plug flow regime, often assumed in the non-thermal plasma literature. On the other hand, we show that a packed-bed reactor behaves very similarly to one in the plug flow regime. Beyond those results, the reader will find in this work a quick introduction to chemical reaction engineering concepts.

Key words: non-thermal plasma, chemical engineering, dielectric barrier discharge (DBD), corona discharge, plug flow reactor, volatile organic compounds