Efficiency and temperature dependence of water removal by membrane dryers

TitleEfficiency and temperature dependence of water removal by membrane dryers
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsLeckrone, KJ, Hayes, JM
JournalAnal Chem
Date PublishedMar 01
ISSN0003-2700 (Linking)
Accession Number11536807

The vapor pressure of water in equilibrium with sorption sites within a Nafion membrane is given by log P(WN) = -3580/T + 10.01, where P(WN) is expressed in Torr and T is the membrane temperature, in kelvin. The efficiency of dryers based on selective permeation of water through Nafion can thus be enhanced by cooling the membrane. Residual water in effluents exceeds equilibrium levels if insufficient time is allowed for water to diffuse to the membrane surface as gas passes through the dryer. For tubular configurations, this limitation can be avoided if L > or = Fc(10(3.8)/120 pi D), where L is the length of the tubular membrane, in centimeters, Fc is the gas flow rate, in mL/ min, and D is the diffusion coefficient for water in the carrier gas at the operating temperature of the dryer, in cm2/s. An efficient dryer that at room temperature dries gas to a dew point of -61 degrees C is described; the same dryer maintained at 0 degrees C yields a dew point of -80 degrees C and removes water as effectively as Mg(ClO4)2 or a dry ice/acetone slush. The use of Nafion membranes to construct devices capable of delivering gas streams with low but precisely controlled humidities is discussed.