Re: microwave ovens


Hi Steve,
Always good to "see" you on histonet.
May I draw on your unparalled knowledge re. microwaves, please?
Our microbiologists from time to time microwave small (50 - 100  
ml) amounts of culture media in conical flasks with non-absorbent 
cotton wool in the necks.
Recently, there was a smell of burning from the oven and when 
taken out, the cotton wool was "burnt" and smelled like it.  There 
had been no flames (sorry about the English of that sentence!)
I believe I am right in saying that cotton contains oil.
May that have been the cause and how come, after the many 
hundreds of times we have done it, the wool burned that time?

Russ Allison, 
Dental School

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