Molecular sieve adsorbents were developed to remove water from liquids and gases more efficiently than the older silica gel and alumina desiccants. Molecular sieves, because of their crystalline composition, will yield virtually water-free products. This feature makes molecular sieves particularly useful in cryogenic operations where liquefaction of gases is required and water must be eliminated to avoid freezing.
Molecular sieves offer adsorption selectivity based on molecular size, molecular affinity for the sieve crystal surface, and shape of the molecule. Molecular sieve systems are extremely simple to use for reducing contaminants to nearly undetectable levels compared to other technologies such as liquid separation systems.
This, along with the higher efficiency compared to other adsorption systems, has made molecular sieve systems a popular engineering choice.
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