I understand that for plasma lighters to work, they ionise the air between the electrodes. I am wondering what happens to these ionised gases during lighting.

Do they remain ionised for a while and are dissapated?

Do they react immediately with surrounding air?

Does it produce a high quantity of ionised gasses?

Do they travel to the other electrode and return to original state? (Is this why they cannot be blown out?)

How does it transfer energy to combustibles to overcome flash point of the material?

This is my first time posting on stack exchange, I am no chemist so hopefully I used some of it correctly.



They are continuously pumping current into a plasma arc discharge in open air. The air doesn't need to be fully ionized, and it will recombine into normal gas very quickly after the current source turns off. The gas that's carrying the current can be blown away, but then the current will take a new path and ionize the new bit of air that's now between the electrodes. That's why the arc can't be blown out: the plasma forms and dissipates faster than wind can normally blow.

As for the quantity of ionized gas, it's just what you can see. Any air that's not being excited by the current between the electrodes will cool and return to the ground state quickly.


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