Effect of hygroscopic materials on water vapor permeation and dehumidification performance of poly(vinyl alcohol) membranes

Abstract
In this study, two hygroscopic materials, inorganic lithium chloride (LiCl) and organic triethylene glycol (TEG) were separately added to poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) to form blend membranes for air dehumidification. Water vapor permeation, dehumidification performance and long-term durability of the membranes were studied systematically. Membrane hydrophilicity and water vapor sorbability increased significantly with higher the hygroscopic material contents. Water vapor permeance of the membranes increased with both added hygroscopic material and absorbed water. Water permeation energy varied from positive to negative with higher hygroscopic content. This observation is attributed to a lower diffusion energy and a relatively constant sorption energy when hygroscopic content increases. Comparatively, PVA/TEG has less corrosive problems and is more environmentally friendly than PVA/LiCl. A membrane with PVA/TEG is observed to be highly durable and is suitable for dehumidification applications.

Citation
Bui TD, Wong Y, Thu K, Oh SJ, Kum Ja M, et al. (2017) Effect of hygroscopic materials on water vapor permeation and dehumidification performance of poly(vinyl alcohol) membranes. Journal of Applied Polymer Science 134. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/app.44765.

Acknowledgements
The authors gratefully acknowledge the generous funding from (1) the National Research Foundation (NRF) Singapore under the Competitive Research Programme (CRP) Funding Scheme (R-265–000-466–281). We would also like to thank Weijie Seow for his invaluable contributions to this study.

Publisher
Wiley

Journal
Journal of Applied Polymer Science

DOI
10.1002/app.44765

Additional Links
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/app.44765/full

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