PlasmaLabel – a New Method to Disinfect Goods Inside a Closed Package Using Dielectric Barrier Discharges

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Abstract

The PlasmaLabelTM technology marks a significant change in the traditional way to generate atmospheric pressure plasmas. The approach proposed relies on the local application of plasma generating labels supporting a surface dielectric barrier discharge (DBD). These labels are of a limited lifetime in the order of several 10 minutes and can be placed in airtight flexible as well as rigid packages containing goods to be disinfected or sterilized. Preferentially from dry or humid air entrapped in the airtight package, ozone is formed and acts on the packed goods as long as the DBD is operating. The ozone formation depends on the DBD-electrode geometry, the gas atmosphere inside the package, and the power (amplitude, frequency, cw or pulsed) fed to the system and also to loss mechanisms like production of NOx. After switching-off the power ozone decomposes again to oxygen. This means that upon opening the packages after a suitable time, no harmful ozone is being released. Applications in different fields are possible, e.g. fresh food conservation, disinfection of packaged cosmetics, and sterilization of pharmaceutical and medical goods. This paper addresses basic scientific and technological issues and reports some first results obtained. (© 2007 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

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