Microwave combination heating: Coupled electromagnetics- multiphase porous media modeling and MRI experimentation



The work includes development of a multiphase porous media model and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) experiments to study microwave combination heating. Combination of electromagnetic, convective and radiant heating was considered. The material being heated was modeled as a hygroscopic porous medium with different phases: solid matrix, water and gas, and included pressure driven flow, binary diffusion and phase change. The three-dimensional transport model was fully coupled with electromagnetics to include the effect of variable properties. MRI was used to obtain spatial temperature and moisture distributions to validate the model. The model demonstrated that high and low moisture materials behave differently under different combinations of heating and general guidelines for combining heating modes were obtained. Low moisture materials can be heated effectively using higher microwave power which is not possible in high moisture material. Cycling of microwave was found to be useful in distribution of excessive volumetric heat generated by microwaves. © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2012