Desiccant vs Membrane Dehydration

Desiccant vs Membrane Dehydration. Two of the main types of dehydrators are used for waveguide dehydrators, desiccant dryers, and membrane dehydrators. Both effectively remove moisture from the air but do it in vastly different ways.

A waveguide is a tube-like structure that allows for the guided flow of electromagnetic waves with minimal energy loss. The waveguide must be clean and free of debris and humidity, because these can distort the wave, negatively impacting signal quality.

Waveguide dehydrators are commonly used to pump clean dry air into the waveguide to reduce the humidity. Two of the main types of dehydrators are used for waveguide dehydrators, desiccant dryers and membrane dehydrators. Both effectively remove moisture from the air, but do it in vastly different ways.

ETI-Dehydrator-Waveguide-Connection-Map

Desiccant dryers dry by passing the air through a container of a desiccant material. Dry air passes through the desiccant material while moisture adheres to the desiccant material. This process requires the desiccant to regenerate, which is the process of drying out the desiccant for further use. There are two ways the desiccant can be regenerated, with heat, and heatless. Regeneration with heat method uses an internal heating element to heat the desiccant material, which converts the moisture into steam that can be vented with pressurized dry air. Heatless regeneration uses purely the dry pressurized air to dry the desiccant.

Membrane dehydrators use a permeable membrane that will allow water to pass through, but not the larger oxygen and nitrogen molecules which is the prevalent molecule in air. The pressure would push the water molecules through the membrane while retaining the dry air.

Membrane dehydrators require less maintenance, but require higher pressure and cannot reach as low dew point as a desiccant system. A desiccant system can dry air to a lower dew point and requires less pressure, but needs to have it’s desiccant canisters replaced every 3 to 5 years, or more depending on use.

Both these methods of dehydration are applicable for waveguide dehydration system. It is important to assess your systems requirements and environmental conditions before selecting a proper dehydration unit. Please feel free to contact Environmental Technology or any of our partners here.