Ammonia/ethanol mixture for adsorption refrigeration

Mauro Luberti, Chiara Di Santis, Giulio Santori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adsorption refrigeration has become an attractive technology due to the capability to exploit low-grade thermal energy for cooling power generation and the use of environmentally friendly refrigerants. Traditionally, these systems work with pure fluids such as water, ethanol, methanol, and ammonia. Nevertheless, the operating conditions make their commercialization still unfeasible, especially owing to safety and cost issues as a consequence of the working pressures, which are higher or lower than 1 atm. The present work represents the first thermodynamic insight in the use of mixtures for adsorption refrigeration and aims to assess the performance of a binary system of ammonia and ethanol. According to the Gibbs' phase rule, the addition of a component introduces an additional degree of freedom, which allows to adjust the pressure of the system varying the composition of the mixture. The refrigeration process was simulated with isothermal- isochoric flash calculations to solve the phase equilibria, described by the Peng-Robinson-Stryjek-Vera (PRSV) equation of state for the vapor and liquid phases and by the ideal adsorbed solution theory (IAST) and the multicomponent potential theory of adsorption (MPTA) for the adsorbed phase. In operating condenser and evaporator, pressure levels around atmospheric pressure can be achieved using an ammonia/ethanol mixture with a mole fraction of ethanol in the range of 0.70-0.75. A good agreement in the predictions of the adsorbed phase composition was also reported using the IAST and the MPTA methods.

Original languageEnglish
Article number983
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2020


  • adsorption refrigeration
  • adsorption thermodynamics
  • ammonia
  • chiller
  • ethanol
  • heat pump
  • ideal adsorbed solution theory
  • multicomponent potential theory


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