Plasma chamber for treating objects and bulky materials while transporting them

Device and method of treating objects & bulk materials with a physical plasma cushion at atmospheric pressure. The plasma passes from the discharge chamber to the treatment chamber through a sparger plate comprising a multitude of holes, producing a plasma cushion, which supports & transports the objects while treating them. In a separate embodiment the chamber has a circulating device for the bulk material, which has a shaker engaging the conveyer for the bulk material so that the conveyer conveys the particles of the bulk material through the treating chamber in such a way that the particles are individually jumping on the conveyer.

Challenge

Several plasma devices and methods do exist for the treatment of objects, particularly their surfaces. Some even include a complicated turbulent gas flow through the treatment chamber. But all these devices ususally do not treat all the surfaces from all the sides of the objects by themselves. This is particularly important for the treatment of bulky materials, like e.g. grains, seeds or fibers.

Our Solution

The present invention therefor has the object of providing a device and a method which enable the easy treatment of all the surfaces of an object or bulky material, like grains, seeds or fibers, and supporting its further transport using a plasma cushion at atmospheric pressure. The plasma source is integrated in the conveyor line. The activated plasma passes from the discharge chamber to the treatment chamber through a sparger plate comprising a multitude of holes, producing a plasma cushion, which supports & transports the objects while treating them. Thus, the plasma cushion enables a homogeneous treatment of all sides from all objects & bulky materials, while transportating them through the conveyor.
In a separate embodiment the all-round treatment of the particles of the bulk material with the physical plasma is also promoted by the fact that the particles of the bulk material are kept at a distance from the electrodes. For this purpose, a vibrator/shaker is applied to the conveyor in such a way that the particles of the bulk material bounce onto the conveyor, with the exception of very short contact times with the conveyor, they are at a distance from the conveyor.

The following schemes are some possible embodiments. Device for the treatment of objects/bulky materials (small balls) with a physical plasma cushion, which passes the plasma from the discharge chamber to the treatment chamber through a sparger plate comprising a multitude of holes (small arrows). This allows a homogeneous all around plasma treatment of the objects/bulky materials.

Device for the treatment of objects/bulky materials (small balls) with a physical plasma cushion, which passes the plasma from the discharge chamber to the treatment chamber through a sparger plate comprising a multitude of chamfer/inclinated holes (small arrows). Thus the material is being rotated and transported forward over the conveyor due to the action of the plasma cushion.

Device for the treatment of objects/bulky materials (small balls) with a physical plasma cushion, which passes the plasma from the discharge chamber to the treatment chamber through a sparger plate comprising a multitude of holes (small arrows). Since the chamber and conveyor are inclinated, the material rotates over the plasma cushion moving forward while being treated.

 

 

Advantages

  • All around plasma treatment of bulky materials.
  • Combination of transportation and plasma treatment.
  • High filling levels possible.
  • Adaptable transportation rates.
  • Activation, cleaning or disinfection of bulky materials.
  • Separation of different bulky materials possible (e.g. trough particle size or density). 
  • Easy use of cold physical plasma at atmospheric pressure.

Applications

The innovative plasma cushion technology can be used to treat different objects and particularly bulky materials, like e.g. grains and seeds (disinfection), wood fibres (improve their surface binding), powders, granulates, etc.. to clean, disinfect or activate them.

Developmental Status

At laboratory level.

Patent Status

Granted EP2306792B1, validated in Germany (DE), France (FR) and United Kingdom (GB). Granted EP2024080B1, validated in Germany (DE). Patent owner is the HAWK Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften und Kunst Hildesheim/Holzminden/Göttingen.

Contact

Dr. Stefan Uhle
Patentmanager Life Sciences
E-Mail:suhle(at)sciencebridge.de
Tel: +49 551 30724 154
Reference: MM-1205+0831-HAWK

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