Dehumidification and Simultaneous Removal of Selected Pollutants from Indoor Air by a Desiccant Wheel Using a 1M Type Desiccant

[+] Author and Article Information
M. Popescu, T. K. Ghosh

Particulate Systems Research Center and Nuclear Engineering Program, University of Missouri-Columbia, E 2434 Engineering Building East, Columbia, MO 65211

J. Sol. Energy Eng 121(1), 1-13 (Feb 01, 1999) (13 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2888136 History: Received April 01, 1997; Revised December 01, 1998; Online February 14, 2008


Solid-desiccant dehumidifiers are increasingly becoming an integral part of desiccant based air-conditioning systems because of their effective handling of latent heat loads compared to conventional vapor compression units. In these units, either a silica gel or a molecular sieve is used for dehumidification of air. Both of them have the capability to co-adsorb various chemical pollutants during dehumidification of air. However, the shape of the isotherm for water vapor on these materials is not favorable for desiccant cooling applications. A mixture (IM desiccant) containing a silica gel, a molecular sieve, and a hydrophobic molecular sieve that was coated on an aluminum foil was studied for its capability for simultaneous removal of moisture and some selected pollutants from air. Experimental data were obtained in a fixed bed adsorber that simulated the operation of a rotary desiccant wheel. Air to be dehumidified and cleaned and the hot regeneration air were cycled in a specific time interval through this bed. The shape of the water isotherm on IM desiccant was found to be in between that of silica gel and molecular sieve 13×, but its uptake capacity was significantly lower than that of either silica gel or molecular sieve. A flow rate of about 100 L/min that provided a face velocity of about 132 cm/s was used in the adsorption step. The flow rate during regeneration was about 50 L/min. The temperature of the inlet air was about 23°C and its relative humidity was varied between 20 percent and 80 percent. The concentrations of pollutants were as follows; carbon dioxide: 1050 and 2300 ppm; toluene: 32 ppm; 1,1,1-trichloroethane: 172 ppm, and formaldehyde: 0.35 ppm. A complete breakthrough of all the pollutants was observed during an adsorption cycle. However, a removal efficiency greater than 50 percent for these pollutants was observed if the adsorption cycle time was about 1 minute.

Copyright © 1999 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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