Mass and thermal transport analysis of oscillating flow with absorbent polymers

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Abstract

A new concept for removing toxic gases with respirator applications based on inhalation and exhalation through absorbent polymer-lined tubes was studied. The two-way oscillatory flow through the respirator element enables capture and expulsion of toxic vapors, which is not feasible with activated charcoal because of the adverse effect of moist breath on the charcoal efficiency. To study the influence of various material, design and operating parameters on the performance of such a respirator, a numerical model that solves the governing equations of mass and heat transport in an oscillatory flow through an absorbent polymer-lined tube was developed and utilized with experimentally measured property data. Factors investigated include respirator element geometry, polymer and toxic vapor characteristics, and flowthrough speed. Results show a large delay in toxic gas penetration over that obtained by conventional one-way flow, and define the importance of partition coefficient, flow passage size, and length and velocity. Results are compared with data from simulated breathing experiments.

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