Plasma Technology Group
The namesake of Plasma Processing is narrow and the scope of work for the group goes far beyond “processing”. The group should rename to Plasma Technology Group to reflect the broad mission of the group. Besides plasma technology research and development, the group had engaged in nuclear waste form composition development and high temperature combustion synthesis of cermet filters. The continual existence of the Plasma Technology Group depends on a sound business planning and business projection for the next 10 years. The Plasma Technology Group focuses on industrial plasma technology research and development. Industrial plasma technology focuses on nanomaterials research, hydrogen energy storage materials research and development, fossil energy conversion and upgrade, new plasma materials production process research, plasma systems development, process and system integrations, pilot scale development and demonstration, and technology transfer for commercial scale deployment in the private sector. The primary goal of Plasma Technology Group is to enhance U.S. industrial productivity and competitiveness, to help industrial partners gain early market entry with new products and technologies to maximize investment returns.
Plasma technology finds a wide application in many fields, for example nanomaterials synthesis, heavy hydrocarbon upgrade, natural gas conversion, coal processing, hydrogen storage materials and chemicals synthesis, hazardous waste destruction, just to name a few. Funding for the plasma process group comes from the government and industries. The government funding primarily comes from DOE. In early to mid 1990s the Plasma Technology group received direct funding from DOE-FE to conduct research in natural gas conversion, heavy oil upgrade, and heavy hydrocarbon and natural gas co-conversion. In early 2000 DOE-NE funded the plasma technology group to investigate plasma production of complex chemical hydrides for hydrogen storage.