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Integrated AC process eliminates refrigerants

By Mary Page Bailey |

With the goal of decreasing the climate impact of residential air conditioning (AC), Kraton Corp. (Houston; www.kraton.com) has developed the NexarCool technology in collaboration with Texas A&M University (College Station; www.tamu.edu), India Institute of Technology Bombay (www.iitb.ac.in) and Indian companies Porus Laboratories Ltd. and Infosys Ltd. “NexarCool is a novel water-based space-cooling technology that is free of the chemical refrigerants commonly used in standard AC, which are a significant source of ozone depletion and global warming,” explains Vijay Mhetar, senior vice president and chief technology officer of Kraton. Leveraging the moisture-transport properties of Kraton’s Nexar copolymer, the technology can effectively control humidity and temperature independently, since it contains a water-based evaporative cooler and an electro-osmotic membrane dehumidifier unit that work in tandem, says Mhetar. Furthermore, the technology does not require a compressor, which further improves upon its energy efficiency. In the NexarCool system, water vapor from indoor air is ejected to the outside when voltage is applied to the membrane dehumidifier unit. The dry indoor air is then passed to the evaporative cooling segment,…
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