, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 39-54

Scaling of Shielded Sliding Discharges for Environmental Applications

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Abstract

Shielded sliding discharges are nanosecond streamer discharges which develop along a dielectric between metal foil electrodes, with one of the foils extended over the entire rear of the dielectric layer. The electrode configuration not only allowed rearranging discharges in parallel due to the decoupling effect of the metal layer, but also to modify the electric field distribution in such a way that components normal to the surface are enhanced, leading to an increased energy density in the discharge plasma. By varying the electrode gap, the applied voltage, and the repetition rate, it is shown that by keeping the average electric field constant, the discharge voltage can be reduced from tens of kV to values on the order of a few kV, but only at the expense of a reduced energy density of the plasma. Varying the repetition rate from 20 to 500 Hz resulted in a slightly reduced energy per pulse, likely caused by residual charges on the dielectric surface. Measurements of the NO conversion to NO2 and ozone synthesis in dry air showed that the conversion is only dependent on the energy density of the discharge plasma. Although reducing the pulse voltage from the tens of kV range to that of few kV, and possibly even lower, causes a reduction in energy density, this loss can be compensated for by increasing the electrode gap area. This and the possibility to form discharge arrays allows generating large volume discharge reactors for environmental applications, at modest pulsed voltages.