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Nonthermal Plasma Gas-Liquid Reactors for Chemical Processing
October 30, 2020 from 11:00 am — 12:00 pm
Zoom Webinar with Bruce Locke
Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering
Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
Nonthermal plasma (NTP) (also called cold, non-equilibrium, or low temperature plasma) is an ionized gas consisting of free electrons, ions, radicals, and neutral and exited states species where the electrons are at much higher energy than (but not in equilibrium with) the other species which are close to energies equivalent to ambient temperature. This non-equilibrium state can lead to efficient chemical reactions through reduction of thermal energy losses. Electrical discharge NTP formed in gas-liquid systems initiates a wide range of chemical reactions in both the gas and liquid phases as well as at the gas-liquid interface. This unique coupling between the gas and liquid phase in gas-liquid plasma chemical reactors gives rise to their significant potential in a wide range of applications including chemical degradation of contaminants in both the gas and liquid phases, chemical synthesis of hydrogen peroxide, nitrogen oxides, and organic acids/alcohols, the formation of nanoparticles, and other chemical processes. Agricultural and medical applications are under intensive development. This lecture will summarize some of the key factors that affect the design and operation of gas-liquid plasma chemical reactors. These factors include the methods of contacting plasma with the liquid, the generation of important reactive species, including hydroxyl radicals, hydrogen peroxide, and reductive species, and the role of the power supply and pulse forming network, with emphasis on nanosecond pulsed power supplies.
Professor Bruce R. Locke earned his B.E. in Chemical Engineering and Environmental and Water Resources from Vanderbilt University in 1980, M.S. degree from University of Houston in 1982, and his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina State University in 1989. From 1982 to 1986 he was a research engineer at the Research Triangle Institute, Research Triangle Park, NC, where he worked on measurement and analysis of aerosol particles in microelectronics manufacturing. He has been a faculty member in the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering since 1989 where he also served as Department Chair from 2004 until 2012. He was an Associate Provost at Florida State University (FSU) from 2012 to 2018 during which time he also served as interim dean of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering from 2015-2016. Since 2019 he is again serving as Department Chair of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering. He was named an FSU Distinguished University Research Professor in 2010. Dr. Locke has published 139 peer reviewed journal papers and 8 book chapters with over 10,000 citations. He holds 7 US patents of which 4 are currently under license for commercialization. He was a visiting professor in Japan, France, and China, and was a US Fulbright Research Scholar at the Institute of Plasma Physics, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague in 2017-2018. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, co-Editor-in-Chief of Plasma Chemistry and Plasma Processing and serves on the Advisory Board for Plasma Processes and Polymers. His research interests include plasma reaction engineering for chemical synthesis and environmental pollution control, with particular emphasis on gas-liquid plasma reactor design and development.
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