The decomposition of trichloroethylene ITCE) by non-thermal plasma was investigated in a dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) reactor with a copper rod inner electrode and compared with a plasma-catalytic reactor. The particularity of the plasma-catalytic reactor is the inner electrode made of sintered metal fibers (SMF) coated by transition metal oxides. In order to optimize the geometry of the plasma reactor, the efficiency of TCE removal was compared for different discharge gap lengths in the range of 1-5 mm. Shorter gap lengths (1-3 mm) appear to be more advantageous with respect to TCE conversion. In this case TCE conversion varies between 67% and 100% for input energy densities in the range of 80-480 J/l, while for the 5 turn discharge gap the conversion was lower (53-97%) for similar values of the input energy. As a result of TICE oxidation carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide were detected in the effluent gas. Their selectivity was rather low, in the range 14-24% for CO2 and 11-23% for CO, and was not influenced by the gap length. Several other chlorinated organic compounds were detected as reaction products. When using MnOx/SMF catalysts as the inner electrode of the DBD reactor, the TCE conversion was significantly enhanced, reaching similar to 95% at 150 J/l input energy. The selectivity to CO2 showed a major increase as compared to the case without catalysts, reaching 58% for input energies above 550 J/l. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.