In a chemistry project I want to pursue, I need to temporarily ionize air, which I aim to achieve with a continuous electrical arc jumping across two wires. I am a true novice when it comes to electrical engineering, but I know for an arc to travel across the air one inch, it requires 1000 volts. A simple piezo igniter can do this momentarily, but how do you increase the voltage of a battery so it can do this same thing over a long period of time?
A module like this might be of use. They can step up the voltage from 3v (two AA batteries) to a high voltage that can create small arcs that will ionize the air. Just search ebay for "high voltage converter".
All you need is to make an electro-mechanical buzzer, like this one, and add a secondary winding over the top of primary coil. You might need to experiment with quality of isolation, to avoid self breakdown in the secondary coil, something like sectional winding. And make sure you don't kill yourself by using too strong batteries.
And the typical breakdown voltage under usual humidity conditions (30-40%) of the air is about 10kV/cm.
You should use TDI or CDI circuit, similar to that or car ignition.