Transition metal based nanomaterials have been used in concurrence with Atmospheric Pressure Non Equilibrium Plasma (APNEP) generated using microwaves to detoxify volatile organic compound (VOC) polluted gas streams. Sol–gel synthesized titania nanostructured surfaces using reverse
micelles alone or with further surface modification on alumina and cordierite substrate geometries, have been developed. By the construction of a pilot reactor which contains the heterogeneous catalyst after the plasma generation chamber, it was shown that the nanostructured titania greatly
enhanced the destruction of the model VOC compounds (Toluene and 1,2 dichlorobenzene) as opposed to the plasma stream alone. Experiments presented show the effect of microwave power, gas stream composition (N2, N2/O2 and N2/H2O) and temperature
on the effectiveness of the catalyst. These experimental variables cause a change in the Fermi electron (e−) and electron hole density (h+) of the nanostructured material, therefore, causing enhanced redox VOC destruction to occur on the surface of
the nanoparticles. It was observed that the catalyst is greatly enhanced at low microwave plasma power by doping the surface of the nanoparticles with noble metals at low concentrations by chemical vapour deposition (CVD). These results demonstrate that APNEP microwave technology performance
is greatly enhanced with the use of nanostructured heterogeneous catalysis for detoxification of VOC polluted gas streams.
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