Thermo-physical properties of silica gel for adsorption desalination cycle
Saha, Bidyut Baran
Ng, Kim Choon
Date of Issue2013
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Thermo-physical properties, surface characteristics and water vapor uptake capacity are key parameters in the selection of adsorbent for an adsorption desalination (AD) cycle. In the AD cycles, silica gel is used as adsorbent due to their high water vapor uptake capacity, reliability, repeatability and inexpensiveness as compared to other adsorbents. Three types of commercially available silica gels (Type-RD 2560,Type-A5BW and Type-A++) are investigated using a surface characteristic analyzer and their thermo-physical properties are evaluated using several analysis methods. The instrument used in this investigation employs the static volumetric method with liquid Nitrogen at 77 K as the filing fluid. The surface area of each adsorbent is studied using Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) method whilst the pore size distribution (PSD) analysis is conducted with the Non-Local Density Functional Theory (NLDFT). It is observed that the Type-A++ silica gel (granular type) possesses the highest surface area of 863.6 m2/g amongst the three parent silica gels studied. It has a two-maxima or bimodal distribution pattern where the pore diameters are distributed mostly between 10 Å and 30 Å. Water vapor uptake capacity of silica gels are studied with water vapor dosage apparatus and the results show that the Type-A++ silica gel exhibits a highest equilibrium uptake at 537 cm3/g. These thermo-physical properties are essential for the design and the numerical simulation of AD cycles.
Applied thermal engineering