With the advancing electronics and semiconductors industry, the demand for cold plasma (CP) has been on the rise. While the demand for applications such as coating and finishing, surface treatment, adhesion, and etching, associated with printed circuit boards (PCBs) is soaring, the market for cold plasma is also expected to benefit from a slew of applications arising in other end use industries. Moreover, increasing applications in food safety will also push the market for cold plasma further, over the next few years. As depicted in a recent research report published by Persistence Market Research (PMR), the US$ 1.4 Bn global cold plasma market is presumed to observe stellar growth over an eight-year projection period. Between 2018 and 2026, the cold plasma market will possibly expand at a CAGR of 16.3%, as indicated by PMR’s global cold plasma market report.
The potential applications of cold plasma technology traverse a wide range, including the extension of product shelf-life and environmental sustainability. Such applications have been attracting the scientific community towards cold plasma research, over the years. The CP technique has already been proven to be an economic and environment-friendly technology in the textile industry. Textile companies are increasingly adopting cold plasma technique in an effort to deliver improved textile finishing.
Cold Plasma Technology Soon to Transform Wound Treatment Space
While cold plasma applications in sterilization and disinfection are currently accounting for maximum revenue in the cold plasma market, rapidly emerging applications in wound healing and adhesion will reportedly create lucrative opportunities for stakeholders.
Coldplasmatech GmbH, a German company, is looking forward to introduce a novel CP technology that could potentially revolutionize the wound care treatment platform, especially in emergency rooms in hospitals. The CP technology involves a patch of cold plasma made of silicone (as a part of the wound dressing), which can be used in treatment of chronic wound infections with the help of UV radiations and ions. This technology is presumed to provide a high-tech, efficient alternative to antibiotics, considering its ability to accelerate the wound healing process. If the trials based on the application of the cold plasma technology in faster wound healing deliver convincing and viable results, industry experts predict that the CP technology could become a widespread method for treatment of chronic wounds and infection, in near future.
Cold Plasma Technology to Win Preference over Conventional Processing Technologies
Among all end use industries generating demand for cold plasma, electronics and semiconductors are foreseen to reign supreme. Whereas, rising demand for cold plasma is expected to uplift the prospects for cold plasma in food processing and packaging, and plastics and polymers industries.
Advanced cold plasma technology is being widely used in the in-package decontamination of fresh foods. Shelf-life extension will also remain a key objective of fresh food industry participants, using cold plasma as a unit technology. With successful trials of the regulation of contaminants mediated by cold plasma, the applications of cold plasma in agriculture sector are expected to surge in near future. Additionally, research shows that it is possible to degrade the chemical residues of pesticides to relatively lesser toxic and safer structures, by using cold plasma. It also offers an excellent alternative to conventional fertilizers and pesticides.
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As far as the processed and packaged food industry is concerned, cold plasma has been proven to hold immense potential as a safe and eco-friendly alternative to traditionally used chemical processes. Moreover, it is considered as a novel non-thermal technology for processing of foods, especially fruits and vegetables, and poultry and meat – prominently attributed to the non-thermal nature, versatile design, and economic pricing of cold plasma. Research findings also confirm that cold plasma treatment poses no or minimal impact on a product’s chemical, physical, sensory, and nutritional attributes. However, it still remains to be seen whether cold plasma processing will completely replace the traditionally used processing technologies, as the research outcome is still in the pipeline and demands more extensive research in order to reach its potential.