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Atomic Metal Emissions Monitoring

Iron filings injected into a plasma release atoms that become excited and emit light which can be readily analyzed. An atomic metal emissions monitor can be positioned within a smokestack where it could detect hazardous emissions in real time.

Water Purification Systems

Plasma-based sources can emit intense beams of UV & X ray radiation or electron beams for a variety of environmental applications. For water sterilization, intense UV emission disables the DNA of microorganisms in the water which then cannot replicate. There is no effect on taste or smell of the water and the technique only takes about 12 seconds. This plasma-based UV method is effective against all water-born bacteria and viruses. Intense UV water purification systems are especially relevant to the needs of developing countries because they can be made simple to use and have low maintenance, high throughput and low cost. Plasma-based UV water treatment systems use about 20,000 times less energy than boiling water!

Real-time Clean Fuel Generation
A plasma device being developed produces hydrogen-rich gas from diesel fuel, gasoline, methane and other hydrogen-rich fuels; provides cleaner burning fuels for conventional engines; works with fuel cells for higher efficiency and reduced pollution; and dramatically reduces environmentally toxic substances in the products of combustion.

Pollution Monitoring: Exhaust gas flow from a furnace passes through a microwave plasma, becomes excited and emits light which is analyzed by a spectrometer to identify any hazardous elements.

Electron-beam generated plasma reactors can clean up hazardous chemical waste or enable soil remediation. Such systems are highly efficient and reasonably portable, can treat very low concentrations of toxic substances, and can treat a wide range of substances.
Drastically Reduce Landfill Size

High-temperature plasmas in arc furnaces can convert, in principle, any combination of materials to a vitrified or glassy substance with separation of molten metal. Substantial recycling is made possible with such furnaces and the highly stable, nonleachable, vitrified material can be used in landfills with essentially no environmental impact.

Graphics for the page courtesy of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.