Microwaves are electromagnetic waves. Microwave energy (heating) has been used in the chemical industry for many years for many diverse applications due to its advantages like volumetric heating, high power density, and fast, easy temperature control. These advantages of microwave technology are beginning to facilitate the production of clean, fast, and high-quality products. The high heating rate can be several orders of magnitude greater than with conventional heating and microwave generators can respond quickly to changes in process parameters with a feedback loop of an automated process for things that have been used as a heating source in many applications, especially chemical processing.
The frequency of microwave heating is typically 900 MHz and 2450 MHz and microwaves interact in three ways with different materials. It is reflected by conductors, transmitted by perfect insulators, or absorbed and decayed on the way inside materials – depending on their dielectric properties. Microwave heating results from induced currents so the heating tends to be volumetric. However, the penetration of microwaves is influenced by the properties of the material. As the field penetrates, it losses power, and therefore the field intensity will decrease, suggesting that heating may not be uniform. Challenges such as controlling the electromagnetic field and uniformity, and temperature measurements, often require more sophisticated approaches to be tackled.
Often a microwave expert is an engineer who can calibrate and tune the microwave unit using a network analyzer. The expert can design systems using electromagnetic field simulation software such as Microwave Studio,® a powerful and easy-to-use software for high-frequency range. This helps overcome microwave challenges like arcing.
For over 25 years, Lee Enterprises Consulting has been assisting companies and investors with bioenergy, biofuels, biomaterials and chemicals, biotechnologies, and feedstock matters. With over 150 consultants, we have the diverse expertise and geographical reach to assist in virtually any bioeconomy project worldwide. These seasoned professionals average over 30 years of industry experience. Our ability to assemble these professionals into multidisciplinary teams allows us to fully integrate the technical, scientific, and regulatory aspects of a project, and combine them with years of hands-on experience. Take a look at our experts and the services we provide. You will note that most of our experts are also available for ancillary engagements and advice, for specialty engagements like serving as expert witnesses in litigation matters. Call us at 1+ (501) 833-8511 or email us for more information.