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A new plasma device for seed bioactivation

#G-2190


Development of new-type highly efficient plasma device and technologies for plasma bioactivation of agricultural seeds

Tech Area / Field

  • AGR-PPR/Plant Protection/Agriculture
  • BIO-RAD/Radiobiology/Biotechnology
  • PHY-PLS/Plasma Physics/Physics

Status
3 Approved without Funding

Registration date
15.04.2015

Leading Institute
Georgian Technical University, Georgia, Tbilisi

Collaborators

  • Drexel Plasma Institute, USA, PA, Philadelphia\nLAPLACE / University Paul Sabatier-Plasma Laboratory and Energy Conversion, France, Toulouse\nCNRS / Science des Procédés Céramiques et de Traitements de Surface, France, Limoges\nV.J. Applied Sciences, USA, Shoreham\nUniversity of Liverpool, UK, Liverpool\nLeibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology (INP Greifswald), Germany, Greifswald

Project summary

The field of activity of the given project is the plasma technique, plasma processes and technologies of using low-temperature plasma within the agriculture.
The main goal of the project is:
-Creating a laboratory sample of the new plasma device with highly-efficient (10-30 t/h) and increased bioactivational properties, powerful of (30-60) kw, for massive pre-sowing bioactivation of agricultural seeds (as well as soil);
-Development of plasma technology for continuous processing of seeds, spread out over the entire width of the conveyor with width of (0.6-1.5) m.
Pre-plant plasma treatment sterilizes the seeds, eliminates harmful bacteria, fungi, parasites, bioactivates dormate potency within them and increases their pre-sowing qualities – germination, growth and ultimately – increases the productivity of agricultural crops. In present, the cold plasma, as well as low-temperature thermal plasma is used for seed processing. Each of them has its own disadvantages and advantages. In latter case, factors influencing the increase of pre-planting qualities of seed are a lot broader and effective:
-Degree of ionization of thermal plasma is high and concentration of charged particles is correspondingly high;
-The range of emission of light waves (visible and invisible) and energetic characteristics is wide;
-The effect of thermo-stimulating impact on seeds is high etc.
Although, the jet plasma torches (electric arc, inductive) used nowadays for this reason have important defects:
-The plasma flow when exposed to seeds from a short distance thermally damages them and simultaneously blows them away from the surface of conveyor. Increasing the distance from plasma torch to conveyor, where the seeds are located, causes the dissipation of plasma energy; decrease in efficiency and in performance of plasma device;
-The emissivity of the plasma arc (in electric plasma torches) is used ineffectively, situated (hidden) inside the camera of plasma torch, for bioactivation of seeds;
-Area covered by the plasma flow while processing the seeds – is small, which also decreases the productivity of the device.
These shortcomings will be eliminated by us, using the new plasma device (plasma torch, power source, water and gas supply system, transportation mechanism for supplying the seeds to the plasma zone and the remote control), which will contain a new type of sectional arc plasma torch DC and power source with an original form (trapezoidal) with voltage-current characteristics. In long (0, 4-0, 8m) interelectrode sectional inset of the plasma torch from the side will done the longitudinal slit, partially exposes a burning therein plasma arc. In contrast to the well-known plasma torch, the working elements of the new plasma torch will be several tens of economical (0,15-0,075) .10-3 kg /s and low-temperature (773-1273K) plasma jets, arising from the long slit opened and directed to the radial direction with respect to the plasma torch, as well as the above-mentioned partially nude long (0.3-0.7 m), plasma arc, which are fully expose to the entire width of conveyor (0,6-1,5m) and during its displacement will process the seeds spread out on the surface thereof at a high speed (performance). The new type of the source will provide a stable functioning of the long plasma arc (in half-naked state) burning in special circumstances and guarantee a reliable, trouble-free operation of the plasma torch. The difference between the starting and operating voltage of the source will be within the frames of 2-3 percent.
Thus, using a new type of sectional plasma torch maximizes the intensity and quantity of the factors affecting the quality of seeds bioactivation (spectrum and power of the radiation, the concentration of ionized particles, etc.).
Keeping the necessary temperature on the surface of seeds, which should correspond to the maximal effect of bioactivation and be lower temperature than the temperature of overheating, will be achieved by means of an accurate selection of the speed of the movement of the conveying mechanism relative to the plasma torch (or on the contrary) and selecting the minimal distance from plasma torch to the seeds being processed. The economy streams of plasma specified above are not able to blow them away from the surface while exposed to seeds placed on the conveyor, and they don’t overheat them, even at small distances (7-10). 10-2 m, furthermore, they can effectively process and bioactivate them. The degree of bioactivation will increase even more by means of additional influence of opened (nude) parts of the plasma arc, which is the source of the broad spectrum emission – of the visible, as well as invisible light beams.
The new plasma device will be designed to operate on amperage of (60-120) I, and arc voltage (300-750) V. Different gases and liquids will be used as plasma-making gas – air, argon, water etc. More precisely, they will be determined during the experiments, based on the maximum efficiency in the bioactivation of seeds.
The developed design of the new plasma device will be the basic, as far as after correction of the operating regimen, it can be successfully used for realizing many other technical and technological operations, especially for eliminating the radioactive waste of industry.
All the participants of the project are competent within the field given above. During different times, they were busy with research and development of plasma technique, as well as techniques of related fields, developing appropriate technologies. Under their direct participation and leadership, scientific-research works have been realized. Scientific papers and inventions have been published, and various plasma devices have been developed based on the authors’ certificates and patents.
The main results of the project will have a practical, as well as theoretical character:
-A laboratory sample of highly efficient plasma device will be created for processing the agricultural seeds;
-Plasma technology for processing seeds by a new device will be developed;
-A theoretical method will be developed for calculating and designing a new plasma torch and power source (current source).
All results of the experiment have a scientific, as well as commercial meaning – they can be used in agriculture, as well as other industries and sciences, which are busy with exploitation or research of plasma devices. Realization of the project promotes a large-scale implementation of plasma technique within the agriculture – it will increase the crop yields and will provide environmentally friendly products, which is of a great importance for Georgia and agriculture as a whole. The project given corresponds to the goals of ISTC, it will give Georgian scientists and specialists – “gunsmiths” the chance to redirect their talents onto a peaceful activity and get integrated within the international scientific community.
The following scope of work will be realized within the project:
Developing and manufacturing of the construction of new sectional plasma torch; developing and manufacturing a new power source with trapezoidal voltage-current characteristics; development and manufacture of conveyor mechanism for supplying the seeds into the zone of exposure to plasma; development and installation of a new plasma device with all constituent units (plasma torch, power source, electricity supply system, gas and water and remote control); experimental and theoretic research of system’s collaboration – a new plasma torch and power source with trapezoid characteristics; generalizing the data of experimental and theoretical research of the plasma torch; Developing the technical part for realizing the agricultural seed bioactivation technologies with the help of the new plasma device; demonstration of bioactivation technologies for various agricultural seeds with the help of the new plasma device; defining the basic pre-sowing qualities (germination, growth etc.) of certain seeds, common in Georgia, after the plasma processing by means of a new plasma equipment. The role of foreign collaborators within the given project is as follows:
-Exchange of information during the implementation of the project;
-Presenting commentaries to quarterly and annual reports;
-Participation within the joint inspection of results gained during the realization of the project;
-Participation in the technical inspection of the project activity performed by the employees of ISTC;
-Joint participation in international meetings and conferences;
-Conducting joint symposiums and workshops for achieving the goals.
Theoretical, experimental and design methods and approaches will be used in the realization of the project


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