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Air filter sterilization using a one atmosphere uniform glow discharge plasma (the volfilter)

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8 Author(s)
Kelly-Wintenberg, K. ; Dept. of Microbiol., Tennessee Univ., Knoxville, TN, USA ; Sherman, D.M. ; Tsai, P.P.-Y. ; Gadri, R.B.
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Two characteristics of microorganisms-extremely small size (0.01 to a few micrometers) and the ability to reproduce-hinder the effective filtration of bacteria and viruses from indoor air. The microorganisms captured by a filter in spite of their small size can reproduce in situ and be released into the airstream, giving rise to the “sick building syndrome”. The application of the One Atmosphere Uniform Glow Discharge Plasma (OAUGDP) to a filter can address both these issues. At University of Tennessee at Knoxville, we have recently developed the “Volfilter”, a planar version of the OAUGDP produced by attaching strip electrodes to both sides of a sheet of dielectric filter material and energizing the electrodes with a high-voltage, low-frequency RF source. After the filter material removes microorganisms from the airstream, the OAUGD plasma kills the captured microorganisms. The combination of an appropriate filter material and periodic application of the OAUGDP results in an effective capture and sterilization device even for the smallest microorganisms and requires minimum maintenance. This paper will describe results obtained during the operation of a laboratory-scale “Volfilter” challenged by two kinds of microorganisms, S. aureus and the bacterial virus Phi X 174. An objective of this work is to demonstrate that a “Volfilter” exposed to a OAUGDP will have the number of captured microorganisms on its surface reduced by a factor of one million

Published in:

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

Date of Publication:

Feb 2000

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