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12 May 2011

e2v launches ProWave pioneering vermiculite exfoliation system.

e2v, the leading global provider of technology solutions for high performance systems, has unveiled a revolutionary new industrial microwave system for the exfoliation of vermiculite, which could lead to energy savings of up to 90%.

Utilising patented technologies, the new ProWave®system is the result of a partnership between e2v and The University of Nottingham. ProWave vermiculite processing systems will offer a multitude of benefits to the industry. Improved energy consumption is of critical importance to processing and manufacturing industries; the energy consumption of the e2v ProWave system is around 150kWh/tonne depending on the grade of vermiculite and desired yield.

e2v’s ProWave Marketing Manager, Paul Downey, comments; “Our new ProWave systems have the potential to completely change the way bulk material is processed, in terms of energy efficiency, cost and flexibility. As a ‘green’ production process, microwave systems can also make a significant positive contribution to an organisation’s environmental responsibilities; comparative studies have shown the microwave process to reduce energy consumption by approximately 90% and reduce carbon footprint by 85%”

Due to the nature of the technology, microwaves selectively heat only the water contained within the layered mineral structure. The mineral cannot therefore be ‘overcooked. The result is an unprecedented quality, consistency and yield of final exfoliated product. With the e2v ProWave system, you can optimise your products by blending multiple grades and adjusting the expansion ratio to suit the final application. This is achievable as you are able to control the electric field strength. Bulk density can be as low as 80g per litre, so more volume can be produced from the same quantity of raw material, the ProWave system typically producing 12.5m3 per tonne of raw vermiculite (@ 80g/litre).

One of the major challenges in conventional vermiculite exfoliation is the huge volume of hot gas present in heated furnaces and the resulting energy consumption of dust and fume extraction. This can be a significant proportion of the energy used relative to the thermal processing itself. But with the ProWave system there is no significant problem with dust extraction as a simple extraction system is supplied as part of the ProWave solution. The production capacity of the e2v ProWave machines are specified at a nominal 1 tonne per hour. Also, from a production flexibility perspective, the ProWave system is immediately available for processing upon switch on as opposed to conventional furnace based systems which cannot be managed flexibly to meet peaks and troughs in demand. With the ProWave system, expanded material exits the process at about 150°C, so it can be immediately available for packaging.


Notes to Eds
ProWave®is a registered trade mark of e2v Technologies (UK) Limited
Press Contact: Tel 01245 453255.

About Prowave Industrial Processing Systems
ProWave is a system from within e2v’s Industrial Processing Systems (IPS) product business unit, part of the e2v RF power solutions division. This division is focused on exploiting Industrial Microwave Technology within bulk material processing applications in sectors such as mining, mineral processing, petro-chemical, chemical, textiles and food processing. For more information visit

About e2v
e2v is a leading global provider of technology solutions for high performance systems; delivering solutions, sub-systems and components, to advanced systems companies, for specialist applications within medical & science, aerospace & defence, and commercial & industrial markets.
e2v is headquartered in the UK, employs approximately 1600 people, has design and production facilities across Europe and North America, and has a global network of sales and technical support offices. For the year ended 31 March 2011, e2v reported sales of £229m and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. For more information visit