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Polyelectrolyte Drying Agents

Tech ID:
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Joseph Schlenoff
Licensing Manager:
  • 17/457,370

This novel anhydrous polyelectrolyte complex can be used as an effective drying agent for removing water from solvents and gases. It can be reactivated at low temperatures, Drying agents, including calcium sulfate, molecular sieves, silica gel, and more, are often used in industrial applications to remove water from liquids and gases where moisture-control is important. Many industrial drying agents can reversibly absorb water, meaning they can be “reactivated” through heating under a vacuum. Often, the temperatures – and, therefore, energy – required to reactivate these drying agents are high, in excess of 200 °C or 300 °C. The present invention is a polyelectrolyte complex (PEC) and is an effective drying agent, performing as well as commonly available agents such as molecular sieves and Drierite in acetonitrile, tetrahydrofuran, and toluene. PEC can be regenerated at lower temperatures, with complete water loss at about 120 °C, and is stable up to 400 °C. PEC is made of positively- and negative-charged polymers and is easily synthesized from readily available, low-cost starting materials.

Key Words :polymers, environmental remediation, drying agent, desiccant, polyelectrolyte