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How does microwave technology work to digest/ extract my samples?

September 11, 2016

Microwave technology works with the dipole moment of the mineral acid or solvents being used.  Polar solutions readily absorb microwave energy, which in turn heat as a result of the reorientation of the molecules at high frequency.  In addition, microwave digestion systems will incorporate a stainless steel cavity to reflect the supplied microwave energy.  This reflected microwave energy will then be absorbed by the load within the cavity.  The load/sample will be contained in a microwave transparent material to maximize localized superheating, thus reducing the time needed to reach the desired temperature.  Pressurized vessels allow the temperature to be raised above their ambient boiling point which significantly reduces digestion/extraction time.  The general rule of thumb is that for every 10°C increase in temperature the rate of reaction doubles.

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