An apparatus for generating uniform heating in material contained in a cylindrical vessel is described. TE.sub.10 -mode microwave radiation is coupled into a cylindrical microwave transition such that microwave radiation having TE.sub.11 -, TE.sub.01 - and TM.sub.01 -cylindrical modes is excited therein. By adjusting the intensities of these modes, substantially uniform heating of materials contained in a cylindrical drum which is coupled to the microwave transition through a rotatable choke can be achieved. The use of a poor microwave absorbing insulating cylindrical insert, such as aluminum oxide, for separating the material in the container from the container walls and for providing a volume through which air is circulated is expected to maintain the container walls at room temperature. The use of layer of highly microwave absorbing material, such as SiC, inside of the insulating insert and facing the material to be heated is calculated to improve the heating pattern of the present apparatus.
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. W-7405-ENG-36 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to The Regents of The University of California. The government has certain rights in the invention.