The experiment featured radiofrequency power, which is a physical method of electromagnetic energy input that heats a product uniformly throughout, leaving no chemical residues. The process operates with electrical power that generates a rapidly oscillating electric field between two parallel electrodes. The material to be processed is placed between these electrodes.
Using this method, the researchers were able to completely inactivate bacteria in wastewater from dairy, calf and swine facilities in under a minute when temperatures of 140 to 149 degrees F. were achieved. Before treatment, the samples contained high levels of Salmonella sp., Escherichia coli 0157:H7 and Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis. Therefore, the scientists theorize this method offers a real alternative to livestock producers who recycle wastewater. The next step is to test it on-farm.