A Review of Microwave-Assisted Reactions for Biodiesel Production
The use of microwave (MW) irradiation to increase the rate of chemical reactions has attracted much attention recently in nearly all fields of chemistry due to substantial enhancements in reaction rates. However, the intrinsic nature of the effects of MW irradiation on chemical reactions remains unclear. Herein, the highly effective conversion of NO and decomposition of H2S via MW catalysis were investigated. The temperature was decreased by several hundred degrees centigrade. Moreover, the apparent activation energy (Ea') decreased substantially under MW irradiation. Importantly, for the first time, a model of the interactions between microwave electromagnetic waves and molecules is proposed to elucidate the intrinsic reason for the reduction in the Ea' under MW irradiation, and a formula for the quantitative estimation of the decrease in the Ea' was determined. MW irradiation energy was partially transformed to reduce the Ea', and MW irradiation is a new type of power energy for speeding up chemical reactions. The effect of MW irradiation on chemical reactions was determined. Our findings challenge both the classical view of MW irradiation as only a heating method and the controversial MW non-thermal effect and open a promising avenue for the development of novel MW catalytic reaction technology.