Carbon Nanorods for Intense Dehumidification

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Two images and graphics side by side: Abundance of carbon nano rods and spectral analysis of elements.
Abundance of carbon nanorods and spectral analysis of elements.

Lead Performer: Oak Ridge National Laboratory – Oak Ridge, TN
DOE Total Funding: 250,000
FY18 DOE Funding: $100,000
Project Term: October 1, 2018 - September 30, 2021

Project Objective

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is investigating the potential for dehumidification of atmospheric air using non-uniform electrostatic fields. This idea exploits the electrical properties of water, namely, the dipole moment. ORNL will synthesize carbon nanorods for controlled water sequestration using applied electric fields.

This project has the potential to reduce dehumidification energy up to 80% compared to conventional HVAC technology. In the past, the concept of dehumidification has been to exploit a thermodynamic property, namely, the latent heat of condensation of water. The proposed idea exploits the electrical properties of water, namely, the dipole moment.

Project Impact

Heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC&R), water heating and appliance technologies represent more than half of the total energy used in U.S. residential and commercial buildings.1 HVAC is the largest energy end-use for U.S. buildings, consuming approximately 40% (15.5 Quads) of total energy in 2015.


DOE Technology Manager: Antonio Bouza
Lead Performer: Ayyoub Momen, Oak Ridge National Laboratory


1 U.S. Energy Information Administration. Annual Energy Outlook 2014 with Projections to 2040. DOE/EIA-0383(2014). Washington, DC: Energy Information Administration, 2014.