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50-ohm RF technology based applicator design and fabrication for disinfestation of insect pests in stored grains

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2018 ASABE Annual International Meeting  1801011.(doi:10.13031/aim.201801011)
Authors:   R. J. Macana, T. T. Moirangthem, O. D. Baik
Keywords:   50-ohm radio frequency, Design, Disinfestation, Insect pests, RF applicator, Stored grains, Non-chemical method


Disinfestation using conventional radio frequency energy has been studied as an alternative method for disinfestation of stored grains using chemicals (fumigants and pesticides) but no study has been done for disinfestation using the 50-ohm RF heater which is more advantageous than the former. These methods offer many advantages (chemical-free, volumetric, and fast) over the traditional methods of disinfestation. However, the conventional RF heater has not yet widely industrialized even though it has been studied for many years because of the non-uniform heating problem of the applicator. Therefore, this study dealt with the design and fabrication of an auger-type applicator to solve the problems of heating uniformity and application of 50-ohm RF technology for disinfestation. The auger-type applicator has two electrodes (hot and ground) attached to the tubular channel (30 cm diameter) and it has an auger driven by a motor (1-200 rpm) that stirs and conveys the grain continuously until it passes the electrodes (0.7 m length and 0.3 m width). The applicator is connected to the automatic matching network (AMN) and AMN is connected to the 15 kW and 27.12 MHz generator using 50-ohm coaxial cable. The diameter of the tubular channel applicator is 30 cm and can disinfest approximately 40 to 45 kg of wheat and canola. The materials are aluminum (electrode), polypropylene (tubular channel and auger), copper (welding cable connector between AMN and applicator), and expanded metal (casing for the applicator). Furthermore, this study expects an improvement of the heating uniformity of the applicator because of the auger that stirs and conveys the grains while heating; and a positive application of 50-ohm RF technology for disinfestation of stored grains.

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