Microwave energy can be readily focused and delivered into chemical or electrochemical reactor systems. The thermal effects introduced by microwave radiation are more localised when compared to conventional heating and a much higher rate of energy delivery (faster heating and cooling cycles) can be achieved. This report summarises some recent developments where benefits from microwave activation in chemical processes have been observed or novel applications of microwaves in chemistry have emerged. A selection of references and reviews in this rapidly expanding field are provided and particular emphasis is on contrasting processes in homogeneous and in heterogeneous microwave fields with strong field focusing. For in situ microwave activated electrochemical processes the focusing effect is demonstrated to lead to microwave activation of only the solution phase in the vicinity of the metal electrode surface. Strong temperature gradients are observed and novel physical phenomena leading to extremely high mass transport and current densities.
Annual Reports Section "C" (Physical Chemistry) – Royal Society of Chemistry
Published: Apr 1, 2008