Abstract: Pathogen Mitigation: Plasma Activated Water

When plasma is applied to water a variety of different reactive species are introduced, which consist of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and Reactive Nitrogen Species(RNS). Additionally, the pH of the water is then lowered, making it an ideal environment for generating a high concentration of reactive species. The type of plasma used in our experiment is an open air atmospheric pressure plasma system that does not follow normal conventions of PAW generation. There are still unknowns relating to the most efficient process of generating high concentrations of reactive species as well as the decay rate of those species. These unknowns will be investigated by experimenting with four variables during the production of the PAW. These variables include distance of plasma to water, temperature of water, exposure to plasma time, and water type. The dependent variables which will be recorded and analyzed are indicators of how effective the PAW is in mitigating pathogens. These recordings include the pH values and concentrations of the selected reactive species. If the pH is more acidic and the concentrations of the reactive species are present, that is evidence of increased pathogen mitigation properties. The reactive Nitrogen and Oxygen species that we will measure concentrations of include Nitrite and Hydrogen Peroxide. We anticipate that the longest exposure time, higher water temperature, closest exposure distance, and tap water type will produce the highest concentration of reactive species.  Our optimized process for generating PAW will serve as a baseline for future mass production of PAW. Introducing a proven method of production that generates the highest concentrations of both hydrogen peroxide and nitrite gives scientists and engineers insight into applications. Additionally, the efficacy of PAW over time will offer insight into what infrastructure will be needed to utilize this tool to the fullest. PAW will see applications in medicine, manufacturing, agriculture, and even household disinfection.