Dehumidification is responsible for a large part of the energy consumption in cooling systems in high humidity environments worldwide. Improving efficiency is therefore essential. Liquid desiccants offer a promising solution for dehumidification, as desired levels of humidity removal could be easily regulated. The use of membrane contactors in combination with liquid desiccant is attractive for dehumidification because they prevent direct contact between the humid air and the desiccant, removing both the potential for desiccant carryover to the air and the potential for contamination of the liquid desiccant by dust and other airborne materials, as well as minimizing corrosion. However, the expected additional mass transport barrier of the membrane surface can lower the expected desiccation rate per unit of desiccant surface area. In this context, hollow fiber membranes present an attractive option for membrane liquid desiccant contactors because of their high surface area per unit volume. We demonstrate in this work the performance of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) based triple-bore hollow fiber membranes as liquid desiccant contactors, which are permeable to water vapor but impermeable to liquid water, for dehumidification of hot and humid air.
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