Besides plasma generation, drying & heating is the other main application for industrial microwave plants. Many of the other applications listed here are making use of it, e.g. the production of biodiesel, processing of food, processing of herbs, vulcanisation of rubber products etc. As explained in the section about dielectric heating, the main advantage, when compared to conventional methods of heating, is that microwave energy does not transfer the energy through the surface only, but penetrates the object to heat, effectively heating it "from inside out". This effect, also known as volumetric heating, does not only enable microwave energy to heat suitable materials much faster than conventional methods, it also increases the efficiency of the heating process - thus saving energy - and at the same time heats up the object much more evenly, avoiding hot spots which could lead to surface damage and other negative effects.
Another important point is that microwave heating does not require a medium to transfer the energy into the object, e.g. hot air, oil or water, but solely relies on energy transfer via radiation, which means that microwave heating can effectively take place under vacuum conditions. This not only makes it possible to dry and heat sensitive materials in the absence of oxygen, but - because the boiling point of liquids drops as the ambient pressure decreases - it also means that sensitive materials can be dried at a much lower temperature when compared to conventional methods. As an example, at an absolute pressure of 60 mbar the boiling point of water drops below 37 ℃, making it possible to dry foodstuff without causing damage to proteins, vitamins or other sensitive ingredients.
Besides the applications already listed here, there are numerous other applications for industrial drying & heating, e.g.:
If you are interested in any of the applications listed above please contact us.