Molecular sieve, a highly porous material made up of alumina silicate is a powerful desiccant. This desiccant is used by major industrial application such as the petroleum industry for drying moisture content in the gas streams. In this article, we will understand the adsorption capacity of molecular sieves and its type.
Types of Molecular sieve desiccants and their formation
Molecular sieves are available grade. Namely, molecular sieve 3A type, molecular sieve 4A type, molecular sieve 5A type, and molecular sieve 13X type, it is differentiate on basis of their structure
Type A have three grade 3A, 4A and 5A and type x have 13 X having a pore diameter of 10 Angstrom. The adsorption capacity of each type depends on the pore size.
How much water/moisture can molecular sieve adsorb?
Molecular sieves are unique structured crystalline aluminosilicates that have ionic forces built up in it due to the presence of calcium, potassium and sodium. Thus, causing stronger adsorptive forces allowing water/gases to separate. Experts suggest that at a temperature of 25 °C and 10% relative humidity, molecular sieves can adsorb water molecules to almost 14% of its weight.
Molecular sieve type 3A adsorbed 19-20 % w/w and type 4A could adsorb 20-21 % w/w. Molecular sieve 5A pellets or beads can adsorb 21-22 % w/w whereas 13X type can adsorb 23-24 % w/w.
Regeneration process of molecular sieve
It is important to reactivate the molecular sieves before use. The molecular sieve can be regenerated in the following ways:
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