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Research & Development Projects Read about research projects we’re currently working on that push the boundaries of microwave technology and make the industry more sustainable.

add remove 1. Sustainable insect chain “SUSINCHAIN”

Simplifying and optimizing the process of turning insects into high-quality feed

(01/10/2019 – 30/09/2023)

As part of the SUStainable INsect CHAIN (SUSINCHAIN), we aim to make it easier to use insects as a new and more sustainable source of protein in the feed industry.

The traditional way of drying insects includes (1) using hot air that can char the insects, or (2) freeze-drying which requires high amounts of energy. Both of these methods can adversely affect the nutritional value of the insects.

In the SUSINCHAIN project, MEAM is responsible for optimizing microwave drying of three insect species using three different industrial microwave dryers, by investigating the ideal processing conditions for each dryer and each species.

add remove 2. Electrically heated catalytic reforming reactors “ēQATOR”

Using microwave technology to optimize the conversion of biogas into syngas

01/06/2022 – 30/11/2025

In this project, we use microwave technology to create electrically heated catalytic reactor technologies that convert biogas into syngas in a more efficient, sustainable and compact way.

Compared to large-volume reactors with fired burners, ēQATOR’s reactors achieve:

• A size reduction of up to 90% of the total reactor unit
• Up to 50-75% reduction in catalyst volume

Implementing ēQATOR technology will:

• Decrease life cycle CO₂ emissions for syngas production by 60 to 80%
• Save from 7 Mt CO₂ a year in 2030 up to around 45 Mt CO₂ a year in 2045

Because of its focus on renewable energy sources, fast response time, and potential to heat catalyst materials to 700°C and higher, microwave technology has a small environmental footprint and a sustainable life cycle assessment. Here, MEAM shows the way to upscaling.

add remove 3. Antenna development 'PAMiCo'

Phased-Array-Antenna for Microwave based Weed Control

(01/03/2022 – 31/08/2024)

The general objective this research and development collaboration is of an integrated microwaving bundle steering module based on 5.8 GHz generators with high power density and a phase shift antenna array. Bundle steering is used in areas where extreme high concentrations of microwave energy has to be focused.

In this project we will realize new speed, accuracy and stability of the device, specifically related to the high power resistor working and a new electronics design with the temperature management and the controls.

The newly researched and developed device will be validated in the MOMIC weed management device.
However, many more applications in the microwaving technologies exist, e.g. specific food heating, more homogenous distribution of the field and 3D printing.

add remove 4. ELECTRIFIED - Non-thermal dewatering of biomass

Electrically driven non-thermal dewatering of biomass

01/08/2022 – 31/07/2026

Drying alone represents around 15-25% of all energy used in the processing industry in the developed world, which is likely to become much more with increasing use of biomass. Sustainable food and biobased processing can only be realised by replacing our current evaporative dewatering processes by processes
using more effective driving forces. ELECTRIFIED uses electric driving forces to extract water from biomaterials, mostly in liquid form. This is done by making use of a combination of molecularly designed electroresponsive hydrogels, well-controlled electro-osmosis and electrohydrodynamic drying.

In this fundamental reseach MEAM contributes knowledge on the combination of microwave energy with electrohydrodynmic drying to low water activity levels. The development of concepts to combining these processes will be core of the efforts from MEAM’s part. With the industrial experience at hand, MEAM also advices on the upscaling potential of the newly developed designs.

add remove 5. A circular chain toward a CO2 neutrally dried biomass product

CO2 neutral from wet biomass to a dry product

01/08/2022 – 31/12/2023

The project is aiming to set up new long term collaborations. The consortium consists of technology providers and potential end users who look for new production lines of their product which starts as a wet biomass material.

The MEAM technology will be used to support the mechanical dewatering and for precision drying of the delicate biomass streams. The capacity of the MEAM machines to be monitored and finely tuned to the application is optimal to control the control the quality of the product towards it’s final dried form.

Due to the high potential for precision drying is the sustainability impact high since minimal energy will be used.

The project will develop a coupling of two new dewatering technologies. The proof of concept and the potential of commercialisation of the new concepts are goals to reach in this consortium. MEAM in specific will analyse the potential of a service to the the products.

Interested in collaborating with MEAM to explore the possibilities of microwave technology?

We are always looking for new, challenging projects with partners ranging from universities to R&D departments.

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