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Louis ROSOCHA
, et al.

Plasma-Assisted Combustion






http://PhysOrg.com (August 30, 2006)
Plasma assisted engines fuel efficient, cleaner

Gasoline, diesel, and turbine engines could soon burn cleaner or be more fuel efficient through the application of Plasma Assisted Combustion, a technology originated and developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and now poised to enter the marketplace.

The Laboratory has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with PerriQuest Defense Research Enterprises, LLC to advance the technology for commercial refinement and implementation. PerriQuest, based in Meriden, CT, Los Alamos, and Idaho National Laboratory are collaborating on the research and development of Plasma Assisted Combustion, under a licensing agreement with Los Alamos, for turbine and internal combustion engine applications.

Los Alamos scientist Louis Rosocha and his team have been working on the technology for about four years, with the goal of making fuel-efficient or cleaner burning engines through more complete combustion. The technology consists of an electronic device that can be attached to an existing fuel injector that applies electrical voltage to the atomized fuel stream prior to combustion --- generating a plasma in the fuel. This effect essentially breaks down the long chains of hydrocarbons in the fuel into smaller parts - allowing the fuel to be burned more completely, resulting in more miles per gallon, or reducing harmful emissions.

"The research was really driven by market needs," said Rosocha. "In 2004, regulations were announced about air pollutants by all vehicles. In the future, air pollutants by vehicles, on- and off-road, are supposed to be more highly regulated. We knew that this was going to create a great opportunity to develop a technology that would supply the demand for cleaner burning vehicles. So, we decided to see if we could do something about it."

With fuel prices at all-time highs, the need for better fuel efficiency is also market driven, but the technology is limited. "The technology does produce cleaner emissions, and can lead to better fuel efficiency, but probably not at the same time," said Rosocha. "Maybe if Mother Nature was super-kind you might get both."

PerriQuest founder and CEO, Nicholas V. Perricone said that his company, which routinely works with the U.S. Government on defense technologies, is dedicated to turning the plasma combustion technology into a commercial product that will improve turbine and internal combustion engines.

"We knew we wanted to work with Los Alamos because, not only are their scientists world-renowned, they also have some of the best plasma technologies in the world we already have and hope to commercialize the plasma combustion technology for fuel efficiency and reduced pollutants for the American public."

Source: Los Alamos National Laboratory



Fast Pulse Non-Thermal Plasma Reactor

WO 2005115610
( 12-08-2005 )

[ PDF ]

Inventor: ROSOCHA, LOUIS A.
Applicant: UNIV CALIFORNIA
Classification: - international: B01J19/08; B01J19/08; (IPC1-7): B01J19/08
Application number: WO2004US15354 20040514
Priority number(s): WO2004US15354 20040514
Cited documents: US6156162 // US6334982 // US6475350 // US5490973

Abstract --- A fast pulsed nonthermal plasma reactor includes a discharge cell and a charging assembly electrically connected thereto. The charging assembly provides plural high voltage pulses to the discharge cell. Each pulse has a rise time between one and ten nanoseconds and a duration of three to twenty nanoseconds. The pulses create nonthermal plasma discharge within the discharge cell. Accordingly, the nonthermal plasma discharge can be used to remove pollutants from gases or break the gases into smaller molecules so that they can be more efficiently combusted.


Field-Enhanced Electrodes for Additive-Injecton Non-Thermal Plasma (NTP) Processor

US 2005133927
6-23-2005

[ PDF ]

Inventor: ROSOCHA LOUIS A (US); FERRERI VINCENT (US); KIM YONGHO (US)
Classification: - international: B01D53/32; B01J19/08; H01J37/32; B01D53/32; B01J19/08; H01J37/32; (IPC1-7): H01L21/00; H01L21/84; H01L23/48; H01L23/52; H01L29/40; - european: B01D53/32B; B01J19/08D2; H01J37/32D1B
Application number: US20040017392 20041220
Priority number(s): US20040017392 20041220; US20030395046 20030321

Abstract --- The present invention comprises a field enhanced electrode package for use in a non-thermal plasma processor. The field enhanced electrode package includes a high voltage electrode and a field-enhancing electrode with a dielectric material layer disposed in-between the high voltage electrode and the field-enhancing electrode. The field-enhancing electrode features at least one raised section that includes at least one injection hole that allows plasma discharge streamers to occur primarily within an injected additive gas.


Plasma Catalytic Fuel Injector for Enhanced Cmbustion

WO 2005017410
2-24-2005

[ PDF ]

Inventor: PLATTS DAVID; COATES DON M; ROSOCHA LOUIS A
Applicant: UNIV CALIFORNIA (US)
Classification: - international: F23K5/00; F23K5/08; F23K5/00; F23K5/02; (IPC1-7): F23B1/00; - european: F23K5/00B11; F23K5/08
Application number: WO2004US22664 20040714
Priority number(s): US20030626017 20030724
Also published as: US2005019714 (A1)
Cited documents: GB972302 // WO02076884

Abstract --- Apparatus and method for enhancing combustion comprises an enclosure defining an opening for introduction of a gas and openings for the introduction of air, with a nozzle in the opening for introduction of a fuel gas into the enclosure. First and second electrodes are located in the enclosure, the first and second electrodes being coated with dielectric material, and being connected to an electrical power supply. With electrical power applied to the first and second electrodes and with the fuel gas sprayed into the enclosure, an atmospheric pressure plasma created by a dielectric barrier discharge is produced in the enclosure that cracks the fuel gas prior to its mixing with air introduced through the openings for the introduction of air.


Combustion Enhancement with Silent Discharge Plasma

WO 2004085694
10-07-2004

[ PDF ]

Inventor: ROSOCHA LOUIS A; COATES DON M; PLATTS DAVID
Applicant: UNIV CALIFORNIA (US)
Classification: - international: F02B51/06; F02M27/04; F23C99/00; F02B51/00; F02M27/00; F23C99/00; (IPC1-7): C23C; - european: F02B51/06; F02M27/04B; F23C11/00F
Application number: WO2004US07161 20040309
Priority number(s): US20030395045 20030321
Also published as: WO2004085694 (A3) // US2004185396 (A1)
Cited documents: US6193934 // US4013567 // US4504446

Abstract --- A device that uses electrical discharges/nonthermal plasmas in a gaseous medium to activate a fuel or fuel-oxidizer mixture to promote more effective and efficient combustion, in which a dielectric barrier discharge or silent discharge plasma is used to break up larger organic molecules (the fuel) into smaller ones that are more easily and completely combusted. The discharge also creates free radicals that promote more efficient combustion. The device is a cylindrical, coaxial (cylinder in a cylinder) dielectric barrier discharge/silent discharge plasma reactor. It includes two conducting electrodes, one or both of which are covered by a dielectric material. The electrodes are separated by a thin, gas-containing space. A high voltage is applied to the electrodes to create electric discharge streamers in the gas. The discharges are the source of the nonthermal plasma.


Non-Thermal Plasma Processor Utilizing Additive-Gas Injection and/or Gas Extraction

USP 7,063,819
10-07-2004

[ Full-Text, PDF Format ]

Inventor: ROSOCHA LOUIS A
Applicant: UNIV CALIFORNIA (US)
Classification: - international: B01D53/32; B01J19/08; H01J37/32; B01D53/32; B01J19/08; H01J37/32; (IPC1-7): C23; - european: B01D53/32B; B01J19/08D2; H01J37/32D1B
Application number: WO2004US07160 20040309
Priority number(s): US20030395046 20030321

Abstract --- A device for processing gases includes a cylindrical housing in which an electrically grounded, metal injection/extraction gas supply tube is disposed. A dielectric tube surrounds the injection/extraction gas supply tube to establish a gas modification passage therearound. Additionally, a metal high voltage electrode circumscribes the dielectric tube. The high voltage electrode is energizable to create nonthermal electrical microdischarges between the high voltage electrode and the injection/extraction gas supply tube across the dielectric tube within the gas modification passage. An injection/extraction gas and a process gas flow through the nonthermal electrical microdischarges within the gas modification passage and a modified process gas results. Using the device contaminants that are entrained in the process gas can be destroyed to yield a cleaner, modified process gas. Also, a modified process gas or gas/vapor mixture can be generated and can be combusted more efficiently and with the emission of less pollution.


Fast Pulse Non-Thermal Plasma Reactor

USP 6,906,280
9-23-2004

[ PDF ]

Inventor: ROSOCHA LOUIS A (US)
Applicant: UNIV CALIFORNIA (US)
Classification: - international: H05H1/24; H05H1/24; (IPC1-7): B23K15/00; - european: H05H1/24
Application number: US20030395047 20030321
Priority number(s): US20030395047 20030321

Abstract --- A fast pulsed nonthermal plasma reactor includes a discharge cell and a charging assembly electrically connected thereto. The charging assembly provides plural high voltage pulses to the discharge cell. Each pulse has a rise time between one and ten nanoseconds and a duration of three to twenty nanoseconds. The pulses create nonthermal plasma discharge within the discharge cell. Accordingly, the nonthermal plasma discharge can be used to remove pollutants from gases or break the gases into smaller molecules so that they can be more efficiently combusted.





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