A plasma igniter has been developed for initiating combustion in liquid-propellant rocket engines. The device propels a hot, dense plasma jet, consisting of elemental fluorine and fluorine compounds, into the combustion chamber to ignite the cold propellant mixture. The igniter consists of two coaxial, cylindrical electrodes with a cylindrical bar of solid Teflon plastic in the region between them. The outer electrode is a metal (stainless steel) tube; the inner electrode is a metal pin (mild steel, stainless steel, tungsten, or thoriated-tungsten). The Teflon bar fits snugly between the two electrodes and provides electrical insulation between them. The Teflon bar may have either a flat surface, or a concave, conical surface at the open, down-stream end of the igniter (the igniter face). The igniter would be mounted on the combustion chamber of the rocket engine, either on the injector-plate at the upstream side of the engine, or on the sidewalls of the chamber. It also might sit behind a valve that would be opened just prior to ignition, and closed just after, in order to prevent the Teflon from melting due to heating from the combustion chamber.