Novel Low-Temperature Plasma Reactor for Industrial Applications

Period of Performance: 06/13/2016 - 03/12/2017


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Diversified Technologies, Inc.
35 Wiggins Ave. Array
Bedford, MA 01730
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


Statement of Problem & DOE/Public Interest: UV irradiation is a non-contact disinfection method which uses light at a sufficiently short wavelength to break down and kill infectious and nuisance microorganisms. Typically, large reactor tanks with UV emitting bulbs irradiate effluent at a maximum rate determined by the effectiveness of the UV spectrum of the bulb and the maximum power of the bulb. Most industrial units are rated in the MGD (mega-gallons per day) range, limited by the power of the lamps, physical size of the tanks, and sheer number of lamps needed. How the Problem Will Be Addressed: Our company proposes to develop a novel, magnetically-coupled pulsed plasma reactor without the use of ferrites or cores of any kind. This reactor will generate high power pulses to create short-duration, high temperature plasma while maintaining a low steady-state temperature. Shorter wavelength emission than normally possible with continuous RF discharge lamps will thereby be enabled, allowing for a tailored emission spectrum for UV applications and an electrical input of at least 50 kW (far exceeding traditional technology in such applications) with an estimated germicidal optical efficiency exceeding 50%. Accomplishments of Phase I and Phase II: In Phase I a preliminary design will be completed and a laboratory prototype fabricated. This design will be sufficient for accurate cost estimation of the Phase II effort. Phase II will see the construction of a form-fit-function prototype, optimization of bactericidal wavelengths, flow rates, and full cost analysis. Commercial Applications/Benefits: Successful demonstration of the high power bactericidal UV light will be a major advance in UV disinfection technology. This advance will be directly applicable to municipality-scale water disinfection systems where the radical simplification of equipment will reduce both acquisition costs and operating expenses. The new light source design should find broad application in areas where high power UV bactericidal spectrum light sources are required, likely including both pharmaceutical development and food processing. The key technology this SBIR will enable is an extremely high efficiency, rugged plasma source that does not require magnetic cores. This technology can be extended to nearly any plasma processing equipment requiring low temperature plasmas, such as industrial exhaust gas processing, UV curing of surface coatings, and plasma chemical vapor deposition (PCVD). Key Words: ultraviolet, irradiation, low-temperature, plasma