Submerged arc breakdown of methylene blue in aqueous solutions

Naum Parkansky*, Adi Vegerhof, Boris A. Alterkop, Olga Berkh, Raymond L. Boxman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Low voltage, low energy submerged pulsed arcs between a pair of carbon or iron electrodes with a pulse repetition rate of 100 Hz, energies of 2.6-192 mJ and durations of 20, 50 and 100 μs were used to remove methylene blue (MB) contamination from 30 ml aqueous solutions. The MB concentration decreased exponentially with rates of 0.0006-0.0143 s-1 during processing with the carbon electrode pair. With the iron electrodes, the MB concentration initially decreased faster (0.030 s-1) thanwith the carbon electrodes, but later saturated. However when microparticles produced with the iron electrodes were periodically filtered, the high removal rate was maintained. Under these conditions, the volume of water which can be treated per unit energy expenditure was much higher with the submerged arc than with other plasma processes. A kinetic model based on MB degradation by OH· radicals formed by the dischargewas formulated. The higher initialMB removal rate with iron electrodes is explained by additionalOH· production from Fenton's reaction between Fe++ and H2O2 produced by the discharge. This rate is maintained if the eroded iron particles are filtered, but if eroded iron particles accumulate, degradation slows down and stops, possibly because the iron particles catalytically decompose H2O 2 and hence stops Fenton's reaction, and either directly or via increased Fe++ dissolved from the particles, scavenge the OH· radicals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)933-947
Number of pages15
JournalPlasma Chemistry and Plasma Processing
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Decontamination
  • Electro-hydraulic discharge
  • Plasma
  • Submerged pulsed arc
  • Water treatment


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