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Pulsed plasma disinfection of water containing Escherichia coli

Satoh, K. and MacGregor, S.J. and Anderson, J.G. and Woolsey, G. and Fouracre, R.A. (2007) Pulsed plasma disinfection of water containing Escherichia coli. Journal of Applied Physics, 46 (3a). pp. 1137-1141. ISSN 0021-8979

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The disinfection of water containing the microorganism, Escherichia coli (E. coli) by exposure to a pulsed-discharge plasma generated above the water using a multineedle electrode (plasma-exposure treatment), and by sparging the off-gas of the pulsed plasma into the water (off-gas-sparging treatment), is performed in the ambient gases of air, oxygen, and nitrogen. For the off-gas-sparging treatment, bactericidal action is observed only when oxygen is used as the ambient gas, and ozone is found to generate the bactericidal action. For the plasma-exposure treatment, the density of E. coli bacteria decreases exponentially with plasma-exposure time for all the ambient gases. It may be concluded that the main contributors to E. coli inactivation are particle species produced by the pulsed plasma. For the ambient gases of air and nitrogen, the influence of acidification of the water in the system, as a result of pulsed-plasma exposure, may also contribute to the decay of E. coli density.