Desiccant wheels as gas-phase absorption (GPA) air cleaners: evaluation by PTR-MS and sensory assessment

Lei Fang, G. Zhang, A. Wisthaler

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Two experiments were conducted to investigate the use of the co-sorption effect of a desiccant wheel for improving indoor air quality. One experiment was conducted in a climate chamber to investigate the co-sorption effect of a desiccant wheel on the chemical removal of indoor air pollutants; another experiment was conducted in an office room to investigate the resulting effect on perceived air quality. A dehumidifier with a silica-gel desiccant wheel was installed in the ventilation system of the test chamber and office room to treat the recirculation airflow. Human subjects, flooring materials and four pure chemicals (formaldehyde, ethanol, toluene and 1,2-dichloroethane) were used as air pollution sources. Proton-Transfer-Reaction - Mass Spectrometry (PTR-MS) and sensory subjects were used to characterize the effectiveness of chemical and sensory pollution removal of the desiccant wheel. The experiments revealed that all the measured VOCs were removed effectively by the desiccant wheel with an average efficiency of 94% or higher; more than 80% of the sensory pollution load was removed and the percentage dissatisfied with the air quality decreased from 70% to 20%. These results indicate that incorporating a regenerative desiccant wheel in a ventilation system is an efficient way of removing indoor VOCs.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIndoor Air
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)375-385
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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