Electrical breakdown and recovery of water and propylene carbonate

S. Xiao, J. Kolb, X. P. Lu, M. Laroussi, R. P. Joshi, K. H. Schoenbach, Edl Schamiloglu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Polar liquids, especially water, offer the advantages of high permittivity, a high dielectric strength and a fast dielectric recovery. These benefits make them appealing dielectrics for use in high-energy storage systems and as high-power switching media. In certain applications, however, the use of water is limited by its relatively high freezing point of 0°C and low boiling point 100°C. In comparison, propylene carbonate (C4H 6O3) has a freezing temperature of -55°C and boiling point of 243°C in addition to its high permittivity of 65. The dielectric strength was found to be 2.3 MV/cm, slightly higher than that of water tested under the same conditions. As an alternative to water in high repetition rate systems we studied the dielectric recovery of propylene carbonate after breakdown. We found the recovery time to be more than one order of magnitude longer than for water. Moreover, the breakdown in propylene carbonate gives rise to a polymer formation in the liquid.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2005 IEEE Pulsed Power Conference, PPC
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2007
Event2005 IEEE Pulsed Power Conference, PPC - Monterey, CA, United States
Duration: Jun 13 2005Jun 17 2005

Publication series

NameDigest of Technical Papers-IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference


Conference2005 IEEE Pulsed Power Conference, PPC
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMonterey, CA


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