Comparative investigation of argon and argon/oxygen plasma performance for Perchloroethylene (PCE) removal from aqueous solution: optimization and kinetic study

  • Mostafa Karimaei
  • Babak Shokri
  • Mohammad Reza Khani
  • Kamyar YaghmaeianEmail author
  • Alireza Mesdaghinia
  • Ramin Nabizadeh
  • Amir Hossein Mahvi
  • Shahrokh Nazmara
Research Article



The aim of this study is evaluation of the perchloroethylene degradation from aqueous solutions by non-thermal plasma produced in dielectric barrier discharge reactor in two different scenarios: first plasma generated with 225 cc/min mixture of oxygen and argon flow (12% gas ratio of O2/Ar), and in the second scenario plasma generated with 225 cc/min of pure argon gas.


Design studies were performed using response surface methodology and central composite design. All experiments with the selected levels of independent parameters including the initial concentration of perchloroethylene (5–100 mg/L), voltage (20–5 kv) and contact time (15–180 s) was implemented, and 29 tests were proposed by using response surface methodology and central composite design was performed in two experimental scenarios.


Results showed that the Pseudo first-order kinetics coefficient of perchloroethylene degradation in the mixture of oxygen and argon and pure argon scenario under the optimum conditions were 0.024 and 0.016 S−1 respectively. Results conveyed that in order to achieve the highest removal efficiency (100%), the values of contact time, perchloroethylene concentration and voltage variables were predicted 169.55 s, 74.3 mg/l, 18.86 kv respectively in mixture of oxygen and argon scenario and also were predicted 203 s, 85.22 mg/l, 20.39 kv respectively in pure argon scenario.


In the recent study dielectric barrier discharge was an efficient method for perchloroethylene removal with both oxygen an argon mixture and pure argon as input gas. Both input voltage and reaction time has positive effect on perchloroethylene removal; but initial perchloroethylene concentration has negative effect on perchloroethylene removal. Comparison of two plasma scenarios with different input gas shown that plasma generated by mixture of oxygen and argon gas was more powerful and had higher removal efficiency and degradation kinetics than the plasma generated by pure argon gas.


PCE Non thermal plasma Dielectric barrier discharge 



The authors would like to express their appreciation to the Center for Water Quality Research (CWQR), Institute for Environmental Research (IER) and Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS), Tehran, Iran, for financially supporting this project (project no 95-01-46-32189).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest in this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mostafa Karimaei
    • 1
  • Babak Shokri
    • 2
    • 3
  • Mohammad Reza Khani
    • 2
  • Kamyar Yaghmaeian
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Alireza Mesdaghinia
    • 1
  • Ramin Nabizadeh
    • 1
  • Amir Hossein Mahvi
    • 1
    • 5
  • Shahrokh Nazmara
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public HealthTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Laser and Plasma Research InstituteShahid Beheshti UniversityTehranIslamic Republic of Iran
  3. 3.Department of PhysicsShahid Beheshti UniversityTehranIslamic Republic of Iran
  4. 4.Center for Water Quality Research (CWQR), Institute for Environmental Research (IER)Tehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  5. 5.Center for Solid Waste Research, Institute for Environmental ResearchTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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