Microbial Inactivation by Non-equilibrium Short-Pulsed Atmospheric Pressure Dielectric Barrier Discharge (Cold Plasma): Numerical and Experimental Studies

ARSERİM E. H., Salvi D., Fridman G., Schaffner D. W., Karwe M. V.

Food Engineering Reviews, vol.13, no.1, pp.136-147, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12393-020-09256-7
  • Journal Name: Food Engineering Reviews
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, CAB Abstracts, Compendex, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, INSPEC, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.136-147
  • Keywords: Barrier discharge plasma, Dielectric, Inactivation kinetics, Mathematical modeling, Microbial inactivation
  • Hakkari University Affiliated: Yes


Microbial inactivation efficacy of plasma generated by a custom-made floating electrode dielectric barrier discharge (FE-DBD) or cold plasma at three different frequencies (1 kHz, 2 kHz, and 3.5 kHz) was experimentally evaluated for its inactivation of the pathogen surrogate Enterobacter aerogenes on a glass surface to obtain inactivation kinetics. COMSOL Multiphysics® was used to numerically simulate the amount and the distribution of reactive species within an FE-DBD system. Microbial inactivation kinetics was predicted using species concentrations and microbial inactivation rates from the literature and compared with experimental data. The results showed that the FE-DBD plasma treatment achieved a microbial reduction of 4.3 ± 0.5 log CFU/surface at 3.5 kHz, 5.1 ± 0.09 log CFU/surface at 2 kHz, and 5.1 ± 0.05 log CFU/surface at 1 kHz in 2 min, 3 min, and 6 min, respectively. The predicted values were 4.02 log CFU/surface, 4.10 log CFU/surface, and 4.56 log CFU/surface at 1 kHz, 2 kHz, and 3.5 kHz, respectively. A maximum 1 log difference was observed between numerical predictions and the experimental results. The difference might be due to synergistic interactions between plasma species, UV component of FE-DBD plasma, and/or the electrical field effects, which could not be included in the numerical simulation.