Cellular foam-based trickle-bed DBD reactor for plasma-assisted degradation of tetracycline hydrochloride

Yan Shao, Hongwei Guo, Zhaoqi Ji, Xiaoxia Ou, Huanhao Chen, Xiaolei Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Non thermal plasma (NTP) is a promising technology for degrading organic pollutants in water/wastewater, in which the transfer of energetic species at the interface between gas discharge and liquid phase is key to improve degradation efficiency. Herein, this work shows the development of an integrated system of dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) plasma and open-cell ceramic foam (CF) for the degradation of tetracycline hydrochloride (TCH, a model antibiotic) in liquid film. Specifically, a bespoke trickle-bed DBD reactor with liquid distributor was developed to enable the formation of uniform liquid film on the surface of the hydrophilic CF strut. Due to the improved mass transfer across the thin liquid film, the trickle-bed DBD reactor with the hydrophilic CF exhibited the comparatively highest TCH removal efficiency (>80%) and energy efficiency (viz., EETCH removal of ∼0.6 g kWh−1) among the systems under investigation such as the glass bead packed DBD. The findings showed that the presence of liquid film was beneficial to the propagation of homogeneous plasma discharge in the CF bed and promoted the mass transfer of active species from plasma discharge to liquid, and thus improved the TCH degradation efficiency. Results from quenching experiments suggested that the electron induced active species (especially O2radical dot−) played the important role in degrading TCH rather than electrons.
Original languageEnglish
Article number123317
JournalSeparation and Purification Technology
Early online date1 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2023


  • Non-thermal plasma (NTP)
  • dielectric barrier discharge (DBD)
  • trickle-bed
  • cellular foam
  • liquid film
  • tetracycline hydrochloride


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