Microwave Atmospheric Plasma
The Qulom MAP creates vortex-stabilised non-equilibrium plasma for use in our unique powder coating process. A microwave field creates a plasma which is stabilised by a vortex contained within a quartz tube. The output is a continuous stream of reactive plasma. In character the plasma is intermediate between a thermal plasma and a cold plasma.
It has longer-lived active species compared to a cold plasma, but compared to a hot plasma the operating temperature is of order 1500K as opposed to 10-20000K. The unique feature is that the reactive species are long-lived and there is therefore greater scope for using the plasma to carry out chemical reactions such as surface modification.
– in situ for chemical reactuions by adding different gases, volatile precursors or particulate solids for surface modification. Eg.
Nitrogen fixation. For making nitrates – non fossil fuel route to nitrate. Direct activation of N2 to NO2 in the plasma, directly from air. Dirfect combination of nitrogen and oxygen. Need a catalyst to to make it more specific – make selective for NO2 but not done this yet. NO2 absorbed in water to make nitric acid. Go straight to NO2 without going to ammonia – avoiding the very high temperatures and pressures of Haber process, also avoiding need for source of hygrogen. Going direct to NO2 much easier. 80% conversion . 2.5kW gets 80% of 30 L min of atmospheric pressure air.