Controlling Zebra Mussels, Quagga Mussels, and Biofilm Growth with the Plasma Sparker
ARMY ENGINEER WATERWAYS EXPERIMENT STATION VICKSBURG MS ENGINEER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER
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A plasma sparker has been developed by Sparktec Environmental, Inc., to control zebra mussels Dreissenapolymorpha and quagga mussels Dreissena bugensis. The device produces aplasma pulse, which is a physical, nonchemical, nonthermal process that introduces energy directly into an aqueous solution. When the plasma sparker is activated, electrical energy stored by capacitors is released in microseconds between two submersed electrodes. A plasma channel is formed because of this high currenthigh voltage electrical discharge. The discharge process consists of at least three primary events an intense shockwave, a steam bubble that may lead to a supercritical water phase where oxidation of organic substrates occurs, and ultraviolet light production. This patented system is made up of three separate components, a power supply to control the power management, a capacitor storage bank to store the required energy, and a submersible assembly where this energy is released to the water.
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