Evaluation of the effectiveness of nonthermal plasma disinfection

Yu Jung Chen, Yung Chih Chen, Wei Chieh Chung, Bao Shun Tong, Moo Been Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


As concern has increased regarding the interaction between efficiency and safety of disinfection, plasma becomes a viable alternative for disinfection in comparison with traditional methods. Dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) is applied to deactivate Bacillussubtilis and Escherichiacoli, respectively, and disinfection efficiency is experimentally evaluated in this study. Tests are conducted with different working gases to investigate their effects on disinfection. Results show that Ar plasma diluted with 25% O2 enhances the germicidal effects to5.9 and 6.9 (log reduction) for B. subtilis and E. coli, respectively, and OES results show that active Ar and O species play important roles to weaken cell wall of microbes and further disinfect E. coli and B. subtilis. Analysis of protein and total sugar release indicates that active species such as ozone, NO and Ar* produced by plasma result in hydrolysis of the cell. In the meantime, charged particles produced by plasma would affect the amount of sugar released, resulting in different germicidal effects. Overall, plasma can disinfect microorganisms mainly via the generation of oxidising agents including ozone, NO and UV with a comparatively short treatment period, which is typically less than 5 min.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2795-2805
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Technology (United Kingdom)
Issue number21
StatePublished - 18 Sep 2020


  • DBD
  • Plasma disinfection
  • damage of cell wall
  • germicidal effect
  • ozone disinfection


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