An international research team led by Professor Sergei Preis from the Tallinn University of Technology’s Department of Material and Environmental Technology in Estonia has developed a plasma water treatment using an electrical discharge method.
The research, published in the Journal of Electrostatics details how water is showered between electrodes with discharge pulses of voltage pulse amplitude of 18–20 kV. The method is safer than chlorination and less expensive than the use of ozone for water treatment.
Professor Preis noted that chlorine has been used for water treatment for 100 years to eliminate the bacteria and viruses found in drinking water. It is an inexpensive and efficient method but, he added: “The drawback is its side effect caused by the inevitable exposure of chlorine to dissolved organic substances, mostly humic substances (dead plant matter) and various extracellular metabolites.” He said that such exposure leads to chlorine producing carcinogenic substances.
Professor Preis said that the new method that his team had developed meant that it was possible to produce drinking water suitable for human consumption without the high cost of ozonation. “No carcinogens are produced, and the process is three times less expensive.”
The full article, published by Elsevier, is entitled “Surfactant and non-surfactant radical scavengers in aqueous reactions induced by pulsed corona discharge treatment.”