Background: A literature survey on the use of High Temperature Microwave Oven Treatments
focused on the sample pretreatment of different matrix types, from the digestion of samples with
high organic content such as foods, to those with high mineral content such as rocks, and also considering
microwave assisted synthesis of products including nanomaterials has been made. From the first application
published in 1992, not too many papers have been found in the literature. An additional topic,
like microwave pyrolysis as a remediation technology, has been considered in this review.
Methods: Examples of different applications are presented, i) Microwave high temperature treatments
for the determination of analytical parameters, ii) Microwave high temperature for ceramic synthesis,
iii) Microwave high temperature for alloying and magnetic ores separation, iv) Microwave high temperature
in nanoparticle synthesis, v) Microwave high temperature waste treatment.
Results: It seems clear from this literature update that microwave-assisted synthering has been the most
useful application found in the last years for high temperature microwave treatments and it is a promising
field which will continue to provide exciting possibilities in the development of new materials and new
properties of old products synthesized by traditional processes. On the other hand, the reduced consume of
energy and the increased efficiency of microwave-assisted treatments in front of those based on classical
convective heating systems is a guarantee of its general use in waste treatment and waste valorization.
Conclusion: In spite that the pioneering studies were focused on dry-ashing microwave assisted treatments,
this way has been scarcely exploited due to the advances in the development of high sensitive
techniques for mineral profile determination of samples. However, we are confident that the tremendous
advantages offered by microwave-assisted dry ashing will provide new developments on this field in a
near future, in which, probably one of the aspects which remains practically unexploited is the search
for alternative energy catcher materials suitable to replace the traditional use of silicon carbide.