Hazardous waste gets a microwave cleaning.
It cooks up popcorn, pizza, and Lean Cuisine Lean Cuisine is a popular brand of frozen entreés and dinners sold in the United States, Canada, and Australia by Nestlé. The brand began as low fat, low calorie versions of Stouffer's products. in a flash. So why not use microwave heating to destroy hazardous wastes?
With hazardous waste mushrooming around the country, scientists are searching for better ways to break down its most dangerous components. Sometimes the goal is to destroy lethal mixtures, other times to recover useful materials, says Steven J. Oda, who serves on the board of the International Microwave Power Institute in Manassas, Va.
Improved microwave heating methods can break down air pollutants, degrade radioactive sludge, disinfect To remove the virus code that has attached itself to a legitimate file. Sometimes, the antivirus program cannot untangle the code, and the infected file has to be deleted. See quarantine. hospital trash, reclaim printing and dry-cleaning solvents, reactivate re·ac·ti·vate
1. To make active again.
2. To restore the ability to function or the effectiveness of.
re·ac spent carbon, and clean up contaminated contaminated,
v 1. made radioactive by the addition of small quantities of radioactive material.
2. made contaminated by adding infective or radiographic materials.
3. an infective surface or object. soil, Oda says.
To remove water from radioactive sludge, microwaving "means less handling of hazardous waste, minimizes risks of airborne contamination, saves time and energy, and avoids large capital and operating costs of conventional alternatives," he points out.
In Japan, new microwave methods eliminate solvents used in reprocessing Reprocessing may refer to:
In the United States, old electronic circuits - in computer parts, semiconductors, and so on - have become a mounting source of hazardous waste. With microwaves, researchers can recover gold, silver, copper, and other precious metals Precious Metals
Valuable metals such as gold, iridium, palladium, platinum, and silver.
Investing in precious metals can be done either by purchasing the physical asset, or by purchasing futures contracts for the particular metal. , then melt the remainder into "durable glass frits," Oda notes.
To clean up contaminated earth, he says, microwaves will cook soil soaked with dangerous pentachlorophenols (PCPs) to 1,000*C, destroying 99.9 percent of the noxious chemicals.
"In some cases," Oda says, "microwave heating provides solutions to problems that cannot be solved effectively any other way,"