Washington, May 13 : Scientists in Louisiana have announced the development of a new cost-effective microwave zapping system that would kill unwanted plants and animals that hitch a ride to the United States in the ballast water of merchant ships.
The "invasive species," such as the zebra mussel often devastate native organisms and infrastructure and cost taxpayers billions of dollars annually.
To get rid of these, the team led by Dorin Boldor have come up with a continuous microwave system, which like a kitchen microwave oven, used heat to inactivate zooplankton, algae, and oyster larvae in salt water.
These invasive species often travel in ballast tanks of international cargo ships. The ships pump seawater into these tanks for stability when a vessel leaves port with little or no cargo.
They dump the water at their destination, along with zebra mussels, Asian clams and other organisms that may pose environmental risks.
The researchers found that a 30-second zap, followed by a 200-second holding period, removed all marine life.
Boldor revealed that the high heating rates, low operating costs, and effectiveness in hazy water distinguish it from conventional heating methods.