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A remote exposure reactor (RER) for plasma processing and sterilization by plasma active species at one atmosphere

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8 Author(s)
Roth, J.R. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Tennessee Univ., Knoxville, TN, USA ; Sherman, D.M. ; Gadri, R.B. ; Karakaya, Fuat
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We have developed a remote exposure reactor (RER) in which the active species of air and other gases responsible for sterilization and processing effects are generated on flat panels in a surface layer of one atmosphere uniform glow discharge plasma (OAUGDP). These active species are convected by forced airflow at one atmosphere and near room temperature to a remote exposure chamber in which the workpiece is located. This allows workpieces of any size or shape to be sterilized or processed without direct contact with the plasma. Here, we report operation of the RER as a sterilizer with both single-pass and recirculating active species flow through the remote exposure chamber. We used the RER to reduce the numbers of two genera of microorganisms (Esherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus) on test samples of polypropylene fabric. When the recirculating airflow configuration was employed, the population both of E. coli and S. aureas cells was reduced by at least five decades after only 25 s of exposure. Tests in the single pass airflow configuration produced similar results, with the E. coli and S. aureas populations decreased by at least four decades after 25 s of exposure

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:28 ,  Issue: 1 )