Chemical reactions performed under microwave irradiation often demonstrate high reaction rates, high selectivity, and low reaction temperatures, which allows for more compact reactors and more energy-efficient processes than used in conventional heating methods. In this study, we discovered a new chemical reaction and proposed a new material synthesis method, performed using a solid-state microwave source with an oscillator and a single-mode cavity. We developed a microwave heating thermogravimetry apparatus to confirm that microwave irradiation reduced the temperature of the reduction process. Next, we applied this apparatus to the reduction process of copper oxide with carbon as the reducing agent and compared microwave heating with conventional heating. We demonstrated that the reduction temperature of microwave heating was 192 °C in a magnetic (H) field and 265 °C in an electric (E) field, which were lower than those of conventional heating. For microwave heating in the E-field, plasma strongly affected the reaction process, leading to a reduction in the reaction temperature. For microwave heating in the H-field, localized heating occurred and the average reaction temperature was lower. Using the obtained results, an applicator suitable for these modes can be designed, enabling a reduction process with an additional energy-saving effect.
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