Plasma Catalysis: A Review of the Interdisciplinary Challenges Faced
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The work presented here introduces the topic of plasma catalysis through selected work in scientific literature and commercial applications, as well as identifying some of the key challenges faced when attempting to utilise non-thermal atmospheric plasma catalysis across multidisciplinary boundaries including those of physics, chemistry and electrical engineering. Plasma can be generated by different methods at many energy levels and can initiate chemical reactions; the main challenges are to selectively initiate desirable reactions either within a process stream or at the surface of a material. The material, which may have intrinsic catalytic properties, the nature of the process gas and the geometry of the reactor will influence the products formed. Previous work has shown that the mechanism for plasma-initiated reactions can be different to that occurring from more traditional thermally stimulated reactions, which opens up possibilities of using different catalytic materials to optimise the reaction rate and product speciation. In addition, the influence of a plasma at the surface of a material and the effects that can be introduced will be discussed.