TWINN, LLC has developed a MW-plasma system for plasma cereal processing at the atmospheric pressure. Cereal processing was performed in two modes:
1st mode: Cereal was processed by the plasma discharge in a special discharge zone with a pulse modulation of MW energy and DC arc energy. Direct electric current was passed through MW plasma torch increasing the intensity of the plasma exposure.
DC discharge of microwave power of 4 kW and 4.2 kW on average was introduced to create a volumetric discharge.
2nd mode: Plasma discharge treatment of cereal in a special discharge zone by using pulse modulation of MW energy obtaining a volume plasma channel with a radius much larger than in conventional microwave plasma systems.
Technical characteristics of MW-plasma treatment:
-cereal passing time through the impact zone - 0.1-0.2 sec;
-cereal impact time with hot gases in a tank - 20 sec;
-gas temperature in a discharge of 3000 °C;
-discharge power - 4-6 kW;
-consumption of the process gas (nitrogen, air) – 1L/sec.
MW-plasma cereal treatment affectivity and its effect on the yield of spring wheat and cereal quality studies have been conducted.
Due to the methodological requirements to obtain objective data the study of MW-plasma treatment of seeds was conducted for 3 years (2000-2007 years) covering variety of weather conditions.
The research was conducted in the fields of the southern black earth on the study site of Agriculture Department of Orenburg, replicated 3 times and 4 times in space.
The chemical cereal treatment with TT Vial that is widely used in farms in the Orenburg region was taken as a control of 500 g per 1 kg.
The most effective option of the 6 microwave plasma processed cereal variants studied for 3 years has been called 2 microwave generators 5 kW total power of 10 kW, impulsive mode: 50 ISS plasma gas - air enriched with 90% nitrogen.
The yield increase varied over 3 years - from 9.2 to 40%. The average growth for the year was 25%.
Thus, the microwave-plasma cereal processing technique is economically advantageous and environmentally friendly, compared with mordant treatment.