The technology of AquAero extracts the water from the air by means of MOF (Metal Organic Frameworks) as its desiccant. In combination with a nonconventional way of heat pump technics the technology distinguishes oneself by its high energy efficiency. The technology is especially suitable for arid areas with a relative humidity of less than 50% respectively to dehumidify the air down to a low relative humidity. As a side effect the way of how the heat is recovered grants the technology the highest purity. Thus it is able to fulfill the requirements for hygiene in industrial dehumidification at much better energy cost than conventional technologies do.

The development of AquAero is based on the experience of two lab test rigs and reached an optimized state. 2019 AquAero builds the first demonstration plant in shape and function of an industrial dehumidifier for a cold storage house.

MOF (Metal Organic Frameworks) – the Water Catcher

Images: BASF Corporation

Metal Organic Frameworks are nano-porous crystalline materials that are built from metallic node points and organic linkers in between. Because of its porosity MOFs show the behavior of binding gases on its immense interior surface. It is the metal that determinates what gas is adsorbed. Concerning water vapor it is finally the pore diameter that determinates very selectively at what relative humidity water is adsorbed. Among more than 20’000 different MOF-types that were synthesized along the past 20 years some are suitable for water sorption. They adsorb the water at a relative humidity of 10%, 20% or 30%, some of them are thermally stable, food proof and available at affordable cost. After saturation they can be regenerated thermally and led back to adsorption.

Use of Renewable Energies

AquAero put its focus primarily on the development of atmospheric water generators respectively on the dehumidification technology. The source of the energy can be chosen by the client. For stationary plants it makes sense to cover at least the heat by solar source.

Working Principle

The water catchment is done in two successive steps: Firstly, in the adsorption air is ventilated through a granular MOF-bed. In this step the water molecules are adsorbed by the MOF and dried air leaves it. Secondly, once the MOF is saturated by water adsorption it is heated up and regenerated. At the condensation of the vapor heat recuperation provides the energy efficiency. Thereafter the regenerated MOF is lead back to the adsorption process.