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Microwaves and Chemistry: the Catalysis of an Exciting Marriage

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The potential of microwave power as a tool to facilitate chemical reactions has not whetted the chemist's appetite in the past and the phenomenon and uses of microwaves have remained in the comer of spectroscopists and engineers for a long time. The possibility of microwaves initiating chemical changes has nevertheless excited our imagination for the past ten years. We will present the original development of the concept of microwave catalysis/sensitization in chemistry and the coming of age of the techniques as an enabling technology in the industrial world. A number of demonstrated applications ranging from hydrocarbon oxidations to environmental technology will be illustrated, as well as the most recently developed technique and applications of the microwave-induced acoustic phenomenon.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Chemistry, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6


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