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Anhydrous Polyelectrolyte Drying Agents

Tech ID:
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Joseph Schlenoff
Licensing Manager:
  • Patent Pending

Dr. Schlenoff has developed "Thirsty Saloplastics", polyelectrolyte complexes that efficiently dry solvents down to the parts-per-million level. Many small-scale and industrial-scale processes require the use of solvents or gases absent of water, as "wet" or "humid" reagents may produce undesirable reactions or may even be corrosive. There is a need for drying agents which absorb even trace amounts of water, can be reactivated at low temperatures for re-use, and have high water capacity. Dr. Schlenoff's polyelectrolyte complexes (PECs) dries solvents at a level comparable to commercially available adsorbents and are non-toxic and easy to produce. PECs are prepared by mixing solutions of positive and negative polyelectrolytes; the resulting powder can be readily extruded to form a tougher more efficient material.

  • When compared to other drying agents, PEC:
    • has the lowest activation temperature at 120 °C
    • released the least amount of dust after drying
    • has the highest water capacity at about 40 wt%
  • PECs are thermally stable and non-toxic
  • The drying efficiency of PECs increases with decreasing solvent polarity and works best in non-polar solvents
    • However, even polar solvents were dried to sub-PPM levels after sufficient time has passed