Applications of microwave oven and microwave furnace heat resources on phase transformation: A research study on red sediment placer ilmenite

Document Type: Regular Paper


1 Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering SRM University, Modinagar, Ghaziabad, 201204, India

2 IMMT-CSIR, Bhubaneswar 751013, India

3 Aryan Institute of Engineering and Technology, BPUT University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India


Microwave energy has potential for the efficient heating of minerals. Minerals or materials, which couple to
microwave energy are called dielectrics and many valuable minerals are found to be dielectric. The mineral
ilmenite is one which shows good dielectric heating characteristics. In this paper, the effect of microwave heat
energy on the partial reduction of oxidized ilmenite oxidized in a conventional muffle furnace at 900°C for 3 hours
is attempted. Carbon as an additive was used for reduction of ilmenite at different time intervals using microwave
oven as well as microwave sintering furnace. The results indicate that at one minute, the metallic iron formed
contained 0.39% and no observation in mineral phases was observed from microwave oven. At three minutes
duration, a partial phase transformation of ilmenite was observed and the metallic iron contained is 1.65%.
Interestingly, at six minutes duration a distinct metallic iron phase containing 32% metallic iron is seen in
microwave oven. The result of preliminary investigations from microwave sintering furnace indicates that apart
from metallic iron phase, the distinct Titania phase was also observed. Further studies are in progress.