Absorption heat pump cycles with NH3 – ionic liquid working pairs

Meng Wang*, Carlos A. Infante Ferreira

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)
90 Downloads (Pure)


Ionic liquids (ILs), as novel absorbents, draw considerable attention for their potential roles in replacing water or LiBr aqueous solutions in conventional NH3/H2O or H2O/LiBr absorption refrigeration or heat pump cycles. In this paper, performances of 9 currently investigated NH3/ILs pairs are calculated and compared in terms of their applications in the single-effect absorption heat pumps (AHPs) for the floor heating of buildings. Among them, 4 pairs were reported for the first time in absorption cycles (including one which cannot operate for this specific heat pump application). The highest coefficient of performance (COP) was found for the working pair using [mmim][DMP] (1.79), and pairs with [emim][Tf2N] (1.74), [emim][SCN] (1.73) and [bmim][BF4] (1.70) also had better performances than that of the NH3/H2O pair (1.61). Furthermore, an optimization was conducted to investigate the performance of an ideal NH3/IL pair. The COP of the optimized mixture could reach 1.84. Discussions on the contributions of the generator heat and optimization results revealed some factors that could affect the performance. It could be concluded that the ideal IL candidates should show high absorption capabilities, large solubility difference between inlet and outlet of the generator, low molecular weights and low heat capacities. In addition, an economic analysis of the AHP using NH3/[emim][SCN] working pair with plate heat exchangers was carried out based on heat transfer calculations. The results indicated that the NH3/IL AHP is economically feasible. The efforts of heat transfer optimization in the solution heat exchanger and a low expense of ILs can help the IL-based AHP systems to become more promising.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)819-830
JournalApplied Energy
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Absorption cycle
  • Economic analysis
  • Heat pump
  • ILs
  • NH
  • Optimization


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