Monday, May 12, 2008

Physics - Biology link

Interesting article in the BBC news feed today:

That is, using microwaves to eliminate invasive species in ship's ballast.

I just saw this, so not time to digest it, but will add some comments if I get a chance to locate the paper or a better press release at LSU.

My first observation is that the paper comes from the LSU Agriculture Center, so this is a classic example of a Land Grant university at work applying physics to solve an ecological problem created by using physics to engineer large ships that transport species in ways that Darwin could barely imagine.

Additional links
They used a 5 kW industrial microwave at 915 MHz, and showed success running at a rate of 1 to 2 L per minute.

This is quite far from being ready for commercial use, either in capacity or cost, but that last remark assumes that shippers will continue to get free access to the public good we call the water in a harbor.

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