Application of cold plasma has been reported in agriculture, food, and bioscience literature as an effective, non-chemical, gas-phase disinfection agent that can be applied at moderate temperatures. The unusual thermodynamic properties of these gases are discussed with focus on nitrogen-based atmospheric plasma. Typical concepts, such as electron temperature and charge-exchange processes with surfaces are explained in more detail. Finally, some general phenomena related to microbial inactivation are presented, including a survey on outstanding issues concerning research and development efforts aimed at utilization of cold plasma disinfection.
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