Theoretical study of simultaneous water and VOCs adsorption and desorption in a silica gel rotor

G. Zhang, Y.F. Zhang, Lei Fang

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


One-dimensional partial differential equations were used to model the simultaneous water and VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) adsorption and desorption in a silica gel rotor which was recommended for indoor air cleaning. The interaction among VOCs and moisture in the adsorption and desorption process was neglected in the model as the concentrations of VOC pollutants in typical indoor environment were much lower than that of moisture and the adsorbed VOCs occupied only a minor portion of adsorption capacity of the rotor. Consequently VOC transfer was coupled with heat and moisture transfer only by the temperatures of the rotor and the air stream. The VOC transfer equations were solved by discretizing them into explicit up-wind finite differential equations. The model was validated with experimental data. The calculated results suggested that the regeneration time designed for dehumidification may be prolonged to allow complete removal of the VOC pollutants from the rotor. The regeneration temperature designed for dehumidification provides considerable efficiency for indoor air cleaning. The application of the model in estimating the cleaning capacity of the rotor for VOC pollutants was demonstrated.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIndoor Air
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)37-43
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • rotor
  • model
  • silica gel
  • adsorption
  • VOC

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