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Heat and mass exchanger for capturing water vapour

Adsorption heat exchangerDesiccant hydrogelWater harvesting


The invention consists in a heat and mass exchanger made with alginate-bentonite biocomposite hydrogel for water vapour capture, and the production process thereof.

The water vapour separation/capture process from ambient air is done for two different purposes: air conditioning in order to improve human thermal comfort using a smaller amount of thermal energy than current existing technologies and atmospheric water harvesting, capturing large amounts of water vapour from the air and converting it into fresh drinking water.

Technical features

The present invention refers to a high performance ADSorption Heat eXchanger ADS-HX comprising a hygroscopic composite biopolymer, a heat exchange medium in contact with the hygroscopic composite biopolymer and a hollow conduit in contact with the heat exchange medium, into which hollow conduit either a cooling fluid or a heating fluid are alternately made to pass, so that the adsorption heat exchanger can be operated under high ambient temperatures and low relative humidity conditions, which are typical of arid climates. The present invention also refers to a process for producing the aforesaid high performance ADSorption Heat eXchanger ADS-HX. An advantageous application of the aforesaid high performance ADSorption Heat eXchanger ADS-HX is in combination with the atmospheric water harvesting device described in the international application patented by the same inventors (102017000120788).

Possible Applications

  • Water vapour separation/capture and storage from ambient air or process air into an hydrogel matrix.


  • Large water uptake capacity in dry climates;
  • Biocompatibility: the manufacturing process of the sorbent material not involve the use of toxic compounds;
  • Manufacturability through injection moulding prior the solidification;
  • The fabrication of the material can be easily scaled up.