After more than a decade of research by Penn State, American government agencies, industry and international technical panels, the use of heating by both microwave and radio frequency has been approved as an alternative treatment for a wide range of target pests.
What remains is to establish perimeters for the most effective use of those heating systems.
Enter RF Kiln Tech Limited. Founded in 2015 as a subsidiary of Aqua Timber www.aquatimber.com, a Midland-based, world-class retriever, drier and hewer of old-growth lumber, the company first approached Penn State in early 2015.
The 1200 model, which retails for nearly $170,000, is the smallest of six kilns made by RF Kiln Tech at its manufacturing facility near the Georgian Bay port town of Midland, a 2-hour drive north of Toronto.
The company's largest kiln - RFKT Model 8000 - has an 8,000-board-foot volume capacity. But the company can produce even bigger kilns for custom orders.
Hamelin said he hopes the Penn State project will lead to widespread use of RF-heat treatment of SWPMs. "It could help stop a major ecological and environmental problem," he said. "And it could create a huge new market for our products."