The efficiency of the air conditioning process can be improved by employing desiccant coated heat exchangers (DCHEs). Currently, DCHE’s performance is not sufficiently high due to the restricted sorption capacity, high regeneration temperature, and long term corrosive effect of the selected desiccating material. In this study, we have developed a composite desiccant by combining a hydrophilic superabsorbent polymer and a less corrosive potassium formate salt. Due to high absorption capacity and excellent water retention ability, the composite polymer demonstrated 4-8 times gain in the sorption capacity when compared with pure/composite silica gel. Further, it recorded two times improvement in dehumidification capacity and energy efficiency when coated on a heat exchanger as opposed to only 20-30% improvement in the case of composite silica gel with potassium formate salt. Lastly, the composite polymer desiccant could operate 2-4 times longer than silica gel coated heat exchangers.
Keywords experiments; sorption; desiccant coated heat exchangers; superabsorbent polymer; potassium formate; dehumidification