||The inspiration for the article preparation was the project no. PPI_APM_2019_1_00009:
“Polish-Japanese Energo-Eco Studies and Expert Visits” funded by the Polish National Agency for
Academic Exchange. We also acknowledge fruitful discussion with COST Action CA19108 Hi-Scale
management committee members.
This research, as well as the APC, were funded by the Lublin University of Technology,
grant numbers FD 20/EE-2/416 and FD-20/EE-2/401, intended for research activities within the
“Automatics, Electronics and Electrical Engineering” scientific discipline.
The main aim of this review is to present the current state of the research and applications of superconductivity and plasma technologies in the field of energy and environmental protection. An additional goal is to attract the attention of specialists, university students and readers interested in the state of energy and the natural environment and in how to protect them and ensure their sustainable development. Modern energy systems and the natural environment do not develop in a sustainable manner, thus providing future generations with access to energy that is generated from renewable sources and that does not degrade the natural environment. Most of the energy technologies used today are based on non-renewable sources. Power contained in fuel is irretrievably lost, and the quality of the energy is lowered. It is accompanied by the emissions of fossil fuel combustion products into the atmosphere, which pollutes the natural environment. Environmental problems, such as the production of gaseous and solid pollutants and their emission into the atmosphere, climate change, ozone depletion and acid rains, are discussed. For the problem of air pollution, the effects of combustion products in the form of carbon oxides, sulfur and nitrogen compounds are analyzed. The plasma and superconductivity phenomena, as well as their most important parameters, properties and classifications, are reviewed. In the case of atmospheric pressure plasma generation, basic information about technological gas composition, pressure, discharge type, electromagnetic field specification, electrode geometry, voltage supply systems, etc., are presented. For the phenomenon of superconductivity, attention is mainly paid to the interdependencies between Tc, magnetic flux density Bc and current density Jc parameters. Plasma technologies and superconductivity can offer innovative and energy-saving solutions for power engineering and environmental problems through decreasing the effects of energy production, conversion and distribution for the environment and by reductions in power losses and counteracting energy quality degradation. This paper presents an overview of the application of technologies using plasma and superconductivity phenomena in power engineering and in environmental protection processes. This review of plasma technologies, related to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and the transformation and valorization of industrial waste for applications in energy and environmental engineering, is carried out. In particular, the most plasma-based approaches for carbon oxides, sulfur and nitrogen compounds removal are discussed. The most common plasma reactors used in fuel reforming technologies, such as dielectric barrier discharge, microwave discharge and gliding-arc discharge, are described. The advantages of solid waste treatment using plasma arc techniques are introduced. Applications of superconductors for energy generation, conversion and transmission can be divided into two main groups with respect to the conducted current (DC and AC) and into three groups with respect to the employed property (zero resistivity, ideal magnetism/flux trapping and quench transition). Among the superconductivity applications of electrical machines, devices for improving energy quality and storage and high field generation are described. An example that combines the phenomena of hot plasma and superconductivity is thermonuclear fusion. It is a hope for solving the world’s energy problems and for creating a virtually inexhaustible, sustainable and waste-free source of energy for many future generations.