Liquid Desiccant in Air Conditioners

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East Hartford, Connecticut
Project Term:
09/02/2010 - 08/31/2014

Technology Description:

United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) is developing an air conditioning system that is optimized for use in warm and humid climates. UTRC's air conditioning system integrates a liquid drying agent or desiccant and a traditional vapor compression system found in 90% of air conditioners. The drying agent reduces the humidity in the air before it is cooled, using less energy. The technology uses a membrane as a barrier between the air and the liquid salt stream allowing only water vapor to pass through and not the salt molecules. This solves an inherent problem with traditional liquid desiccant systems—carryover of the liquid drying agent into the conditioned air stream—which eliminates corrosion and health issues.

Potential Impact:

If successful, UTRC's air conditioning system would be 50% more efficient than conventional air conditioning units.


Increased energy efficiency would decrease U.S. energy demand and reduce reliance on fossil fuels—strengthening U.S. energy security.


Improved humidity control in buildings lowers energy use in air conditioning and reduces the production of mold and other irritants caused by high humidity, leading to healthier indoor environments.


Widespread adoption of this technology could reduce energy consumption for air conditioning of buildings—providing consumers with cost savings on energy bills.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Jason Rugolo
Project Contact:
Dr. Hayden M. Reeve
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


New Jersey Institute of Technology
Pall Corporation
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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