Carpet stained after the big party? Forget the steam cleaner — try using the microwave to clean it up. That's kind of the gist of this trailer-mounted microwave, invented by Dr. Chang-Yul Cha, founder of Cha Corporation in Wyoming. He created the contraption to reclaim solvents that are polluting some of the most contaminated industrial sites across the country.
Cha's method uses microwaves to recover pollutants (like solvents, lubricants and fuels) by adsorption (yep, adsorb, not absorb) from activated carbon. The carbon adsorbs the chemicals similar to the way the charcoal in your barbecue fires up to cook some franks — the chemical fluids bind to the surface of the carbon in a thin layer. This saturated carbon is then exposed to microwave energy as it passes through a quartz tube reactor, condensing the chemicals.
So unlike the Hoover steam cleaner from the supermarket, Cha's microwave doesn't leave you with a bucket of dirty water, dog hair and guilt. Instead it actually recovers the original chemicals so they can be reused — hopefully more responsibly than the first time.
Via Cha Corporation