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Understanding Microwave Heating in Biomass-Solvent Systems

Taqi, Ali; Farcot, Etienne; Robinson, John P.; Binner, Eleanor R.


Ali Taqi


A new mechanism is proposed to provide a viable physical explanation for the action of microwaves in solvent extraction processes. The key innovation is Temperature-Induced Diffusion, a recently-demonstrated phenomenon that results from selective heating using microwaves. A mechanism is presented which incorporates microwave heating, cellular expansion, heat transfer and mass transfer, all of which affect the pressure of cell structures within biomass. The cell-pressure is modelled with time across a range of physical and process variables, and compared with the expected outputs from the existing steam-rupture theory. It is shown that steam-rupture is only possible at the extreme fringes of realistic physical parameters, but Temperature-Induced Diffusion is able to explain cell-rupture across a broad and realistic range of physical parameters and heating conditions. Temperature-Induced Diffusion is the main principle that governs microwave-assisted extraction, and this paves the way to being able to select processing conditions and feedstocks based solely on their physical properties. Graphical abstract Keywords Microwave processing, heat transfer, mass transfer, plant cell rupture, cellular expansion mechanics, solvent extraction

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2020-03
Journal Chemical Engineering Journal
Print ISSN 1385-8947
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 124741
APA6 Citation Taqi, A., Farcot, E., Robinson, J. P., & Binner, E. R. (2020). Understanding Microwave Heating in Biomass-Solvent Systems. Chemical Engineering Journal, 124741.
Keywords Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering; General Chemistry; General Chemical Engineering; Environmental Chemistry


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