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2020 Projects

Organic Molecule Degradation by Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Jets Using Commercially Available Circuitry

Shalese Lovell ’22
Major: Physics

Shalese Lovell ’22

Major: Physics

Research Collaborators: Džafer Čamdžić, Logan Henning, Anni Zettl

Faculty Collaborator: Adam Light, Physics

This study aims to reveal the efficacy of commercially available arc lighter circuits used in atmospheric pressure plasma jets through the degradation of long-chain, organic dye. Three affordable arc lighters were chosen off of an online public marketplace and were modified accordingly to fit the developed jet designs. Testing chambers were created to include an aerator fueled by Ar gas in order to increase the surface area of plasma-water contact. The results measured through a spectrophotometer reveal the efficiency of this degradation through varying time intervals. While we have drawn on previous research centered around the development and improvement of low-temperature APPJs to create our jet geometries, this study aims to be a precursor for the capability of easily produced APPJs to mineralize other organic contaminants in water, specifically PFAS chemicals. We have chosen a long-chain organic dye because of its similarities in structure to PFOS and PFOA chemicals. While the surfactant qualities of these chemicals could not be replicated perfectly, using a visible, strong dye resulted in a quicker, more accurate analysis of our proposed APPJs ability to function as desired.

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