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Conceptual Framework

In adsorption system, the adsorbed molecules go through physisorption by simply losing

energy when being fixed into a porous material. Since it loses energy, it is exothermic. Moreover,

the process is reversible and doesnt use mechanical energy but only heat energy. The basic

adsorption cycle for cooling is shown in Fig 1. In the first half of the cycle in AB, the adsorbent

is heated using an external heat source that can be derived from solar power or waste heat until the

pressure reaches a level that permits the desorption of refrigerant (state B). During process BC,

the vapor refrigerant is continuously heated which results in the desorption of vapor refrigerant.

The gaseous refrigerant flows to the condenser at state C and is condensed here when the adsorbent

reaches its maximum temperature. In the second half of the cycle, the temperature starts to

decrease. Meanwhile, the condensed liquid refrigerant flows into the evaporator which then

evaporates and extracts heat from the evaporator (process DA) generating a cooling process

inside the chamber (Lemmini and Errougani, 2007).

Fig. 1. Adsorption cycle in Clapeyron diagram

Main elements of a two-bed configuration adsorption refrigeration system are: adsorbent

beds, a condenser, and an evaporator. This two-bed configuration makes a continuous adsorption
cycle. The schematic diagram is shown in Fig. 2. One adsorbent bed is heated in desorption

period and the other bed is cooled in adsorption period. One cycle is completed after a full cycle

of both adsorption and desorption. The steps in heating and cooling are reversed when the beds

reached desired upper and lower temperature limits of the adsorption cycle.

Fig. 2. Schematic Diagram of Two-Bed Adsorption Refrigerator

Theoretical Framework

Adsorption Equations

Adsorptive property of a physical adsorption has three parameters: adsorbate

concentration (x), adsorbent temperature (T) and adsorption pressure (P). The adsorbate

concentration is a function of adsorbent temperature and adsorption pressure.

(1) Langmiur Equation

Langmiur equation depicts a relationship between the number of active sites of

the surface undergoing adsorption and pressure. It assumes that adsorption is monolayer

and that molecules do not interact with each other. It can be given as (Ng et al., 2001):
x = P * K10 exp (Qst/R0T)


x is the concentration of adsorbed adsorbate (kg/kg);

P is adsorption pressure (Pa);

K10 is the adsorption constant (1/Pa);

Qst is adsorption heat (kJ/kg);

R0 is specific gas constant (J/kgK);

T is the adsorbent temperature (K); and

K10 and Qst are the two parameters that can be determined experimentally.

(2) Freundlich Equation

Freundlich equation represents isothermal variation of adsorption of a quantity of gas

adsorbed by unit mass of solid adsorbent with pressure. It can be given as:

x = x0 (P/Psat) 1/n


x is the adsorbed adsorbate concentration (kg/kg);

x0 is theoretical maximum adsorption capacity (kg/kg);

Psat is saturation pressure at adsorbent temperature (Pa);

P is system adsorption pressure (Pa);

x0 and n are two parameters that can be determined experimentally.

(3) Dubinin-Astakhov (DA) Equation

DA equation can be used to describe uniform physical micropores adsorption and it is

given as:

x = x0 exp (-D(T ln Psat/P)n)


x is the adsorbed adsorbate concentration (kg/kg);

x0 is the theoretical maximum adsorption capacity (kg/kg);

P is adsorption pressure (Pa);

T is the adsorbent temperature (K);

D is a constant that depends on the adsorbent microstructure;

n is a parameter introduced to achieve a better fit with experimental data; and

x0, D and n are normally determined using experiments