Microwave heating principles and the application to the regeneration of granular activated carbon

Bradshaw S.M. ; Van Wyk E.J. ; De Swardt J.B. (1998)


The principles of microwave heating are discussed with reference to dielectric properties, heating phenomena and microwave equipment. Microwave regeneration of granular activated carbon for the carbon-in-pulp process is examined on a laboratory scale, with special attention being given to highlight the problem areas and specific considerations related to microwave heating. Results indicate that microwave regeneration of carbon with 40% moisture on a wet basis by heating to 650°C with steam addition regenerates the carbon to virgin carbon activity levels but with a higher abrasion resistance. A preliminary economic assessment showed that the capital cost for 120 kg/h microwave unit would be R540 000 with an annual operating cost of R 320/t carbon. These figures yield a return on investment of 12%, The aim of this paper is to provide an introduction to microwave heating and to illustrate its application to the microwave regeneration of granular activated carbon for the carbon-in-pulp (CIP) process.

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