Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Process Engineering, Biotechnology, Nutrition Technology
The finite element method was used to model microwave thawing of pure-water and 0.1-M NaCl cylinders. The electromagnetic field was described by Maxwell's equations with temperature-dependent dielectric properties, while the heat equation, coupled with the Stefan and Robin conditions, was used to describe the thawing process. An additional equation for the frozen volume fraction was used, when necessary, to account for the presence of a mushy region. Two microwave frequencies, 915 MHz and 2,450 MHz, were examined and the microwave radiation was assumed to be radially isotropic and normal to the surface of the cylinder. Results show that a two-phase mushy region may exist, and an additional thawing front may appear at the center of the cylinder. Salt cylinders have a higher dielectric loss than pure-water cylinders and therefore thaw more quickly. Internal resonance occurs when the wavelength of the radiation is a harmonic of the cylinder radius. Resonance increases power deposition and expedites the thawing process. The onset of resonance alters thawing times and complicates the development of heuristic rules for microwave thawing.
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