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Summary form only given. Atmospheric pressure non-thermal plasma discharge has been observed to have strong antimicrobial properties. In an effort to understand the mechanism of plasma sterilization, a limited and basic kinetic model was made as a first step toward a fully descriptive and detailed model. The goal for this phenomenological estimation was to identify biologically active components of plasma discharge that were influential on the exposure time required for complete sterilization. This estimation is currently capable of predicting the sterilization times of an airborne microorganism sterilization setup and a surface sterilization setup on agar within one order of magnitude. The biologically active components of plasma included in this estimation are ozone, hydroxyl radicals, ultraviolet radiation, nitric oxide, and nitrogen ions. Using empirical data, reaction rate coefficients were developed to describe the rate at which microorganisms will inactivate when in presence of each of these plasma components. Using the reaction rate coefficients and calculated concentrations of each plasma species, the estimation predicts the bacteria population reduction given plasma exposure time and vice versa.
Date of Conference: 15-19 June 2008