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Microwave Chemical Processing

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The chemical industry admits to minimal use of microwave power because of its high capital and operating costs relative to steam, combustion, electrical, and other traditional sources of energy. Other valid historical and persistent reasons for their lack of proper use include: a poor conceptual understanding of microwaves by chemical professionals, their unwillingness to replace existing adequate methods with radically new technology, the infancy of the microwave industrial power supply, and unfamiliarity of microwave power systems manufacturers with the chemical industry. In years past, the North American chemical industry had few competitors and profits were generally large. Environmental regulations were few and product quality was less a concern than production volume. The microwave power industry relied on the government and communications for lucrative sales. Those days appear over. Chemical manufacturers must probe every technology to achieve the edge necessary to stay competitive while meeting environmental stewardship demands. Microwave power has always offered unique advantages in heating materials selectively and/or quickly to high or preselected temperatures with fast control response. In the cases discussed in this paper, novel applications of microwave power afford: faster production, a reduction in product contaminants, reduced downtime, reduced waste, product quality improvements, and better pollution control.

Affiliations: 1: Dow Chemical Company, Texas Operations, 2301 Brazosport Blvd, B-1215, Freeport, TX 77541-3257, U.S.A.

10.1163/156856794X00108
/content/journals/10.1163/156856794x00108
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/content/journals/10.1163/156856794x00108
1994-01-01
2017-03-27

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