Degradation of volatile organic compounds in a non-thermal plasma air purifier

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Author(s) Schmid, Stefan, Jecklin, Matthias C., Zenobi, Renato
Publication Type Journal Items, Publication Status: Published
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Title Degradation of volatile organic compounds in a non-thermal plasma air purifier
Author(s) Schmid, Stefan
Jecklin, Matthias C.
Zenobi, Renato
Journal or Series Title Chemosphere
Volume Number 79
Issue Number 2
Start Page 124
End Page 130
ISSN 0045-6535
Publisher Elsevier
Publication Place Amsterdam
Publication Date 2010
Keyword(s) Non-thermal plasma
Air purification
Volatile organic compounds
Oxidative degradation
Abstract The degradation of volatile organic compounds in a commercially available non-thermal plasma based air purifying system was investigated. Several studies exist that interrogate the degradation of VOCs in closed air systems using a non-thermal plasma combined with a heterogeneous catalyst. For the first time, however, our study was performed under realistic conditions (normal indoor air, 297.5 K and 12.5 g m(-3) water content) on an open system, in the absence of an auxiliary catalyst, and using standard operating air flow rates (up to 320 L min(-1)) Cyclohexene, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and the xylene isomers were nebulized and guided through the plasma air purifier. The degradation products were trapped by activated charcoal tubes or silica gel tubes, and analyzed using gas chromatography mass spectrometry. Degradation efficiencies of 11 +/- 1.6% for cyclohexene, <2% for benzene, 11 +/- 2.4% for toluene, 3 +/- 1% for ethylbenzene, 1 +/- 1% for a-xylene, and 3 +/- 0.4% for m-/rho-xylene were found. A fairly wide range of degradation products could be identified. On both trapping media, various oxidized species such as alcohols, aldehydes, ketones and one epoxide were observed. The formation of adipaldehyde from nebulized cyclohexene clearly indicates an ozonolysis reaction. Other degradation products observed suggests reactions with OH radicals. We propose that mostly ozone and OH radicals are responsible for the degradation of organic molecules in the plasma air purifier.
DOI 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2010.01.049
Additional Notes Received 2 November 2009, Revised 26 January 2010, Accepted 27 January 2010, Available online 18 February 2010
Document Type Article
Publication Status Published
Language English
Assigned Organisational Unit(s) 03430
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NEBIS System Number 000034660
Source Database ID WOS-000276182900002
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  author = "Schmid, Stefan and Jecklin, Matthias C. and Zenobi, Renato",
  title = "{D}egradation of volatile organic compounds in a non-thermal plasma air purifier",
  journal = "Chemosphere",
  year = 2010,
  volume = "79",
  number = "2",
  pages = "124--130",

E-Citations record created: Tue, 20 Apr 2010, 09:11:41 CET