A new, low-cost, portable microwave oven could save the planet by keeping us out of harm’s way in a climate-friendly way, a new study has found.
The new research, published in the journal Nature Communications, has found that the microwaves created by a portable microwave can produce a range of pollutants including mercury, carbon monoxide and particulate matter, compared to a traditional microwave oven.
The findings, which suggest that portable microwave microwaves could be the future of household appliance manufacturing, have significant implications for the global heating challenge.
“We are going to need new microwave technology to meet the challenge of CO 2 reduction,” said study author Dr Sam Sowter, from the University of Oxford, UK.
“It is a huge change from the way that we currently manufacture appliances and it’s also a huge cost-saving opportunity.”
Our findings show that, with the right design, portable microwaves can produce pollution at a range comparable to conventional ovens.”
The study found that an open-ended design for the portable microwave would need to be carefully engineered to ensure that the oven’s heat transfer would be more efficient than that of a traditional oven.”
In this picture provided by the University, researchers in a new, portable, microwave oven, made from stainless steel, are shown. “
Our results demonstrate that these new designs are viable, but also show that the challenges in designing such a system will be daunting.”
In this picture provided by the University, researchers in a new, portable, microwave oven, made from stainless steel, are shown.
The new research builds on previous work by the Oxford group and is the first to use the latest research into the effects of low-temperature heat transfer.
Scientists from the university and elsewhere have previously found that when exposed to temperatures below 400C, microwave emitters are more likely to be toxic than traditional ovens.
However, the current study suggests that when the microwave is operated at a lower temperature, the pollution generated by the microwave can be absorbed and converted into CO 2 and other pollutants.
According to the Oxford researchers, their findings add to a growing body of research showing that low-heat cooking is more effective at reducing CO 2 emissions than traditional heating methods.
“There are many benefits to using portable microwaves in a range-of-use scenario, from reducing the use of household heating, to reducing the emissions of pollutants and reducing carbon dioxide emissions,” said Professor Sowers.
“But the problem with low-intensity cooking is that you need a very large range of cooking surfaces to cook on, so you have to use a very high-powered oven, which is quite expensive.”‘
Potentially life-saving’The new study, by Dr Sampter and colleagues, examined emissions from a range a microwave of various temperature ranges and found that a typical portable microwave emitted less than 1gCO 2 per kilogram of weight in air at the point of heating, compared with a typical oven that emitted 10.3gCO, or 0.3% of the weight of the microwave.
However, when the researchers looked at the emissions from the different types of microwave they found that, even at temperatures of about 800C, the emissions were much lower than those from the most expensive oven.
For example, the portable oven emitted 10% less CO 2 per gram of weight than the more expensive one, which emitted 17% more.
The research was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council.
Researchers also found that if the portable microwave was designed to operate at a temperature of around 400C (1,400F) instead of the higher temperature of 600C (2,200F) that is commonly used, the researchers found that emissions would be reduced by up to 10% and pollutants such as CO 2 could be reduced to less than 0.1%.
“This new study shows that we could achieve similar reductions in emissions and pollution with low temperature cooking,” said Sowting.
“But we must ensure that these lower temperatures are designed to minimise the amount of heat that is transferred through the appliance.”
We must also consider the safety of low temperature use.
“The researchers concluded that “the portable microwave could be a promising alternative to conventional cooking in a variety of scenarios, including cooking on surfaces where cooking is already difficult, such as in a stovetop, oven or toaster oven, where heating is not the primary goal.
“The research is published in Nature Communications.
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