Membrane could improve air-cooler efficiency

In warm and humid climates, the efficiency of air-conditioning systems decreases significantly when they are working to remove moisture from the air.

Now, a team led by Hudson, Ohio-based ADMA plans to develop a dehumidification membrane that can selectively sieve out water molecules from the humid air stream that flows over it, while leaving behind oxygen and nitrogen molecules.

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) will make the membrane by depositing a very thin layer of a special class of ceramic materials − known as a molecular sieve − on the surface of a porous metal sheet that is about the thickness of a piece of paper.

ADMA will then use its expertise to develop a roll-to-roll manufacturing processes to fabricate the product at a low cost.

If successful, the technology could significantly reduce energy consumption for air cooling in hot and humid climates, and reduce future CO2 emission growth from the HVAC sector.