Control of Humidity in Small Controlled-environment Chambers using Glycerol-Water Solutions

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  • 1 Horticultural Crops Research Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2021 S. Peach Avenue, Fresno, CA 93727.

Solutions of glycerol and water provide a convenient and inexpensive system to control the relative humidity (RH) in small controlled-environment chambers. The relationship between the specific gravity (SG) of a glycerol-water solution and its equilibrium RH is described by the equation SG = [-0.189 (RH) + 19.9]0.0806. Gas can be humidified by bubbling it through jars containing solutions of glycerol-water with the desired equilibrium RH. The effects of flow rate, volume of solution, temperature, and pressure on the equilibrium RH are discussed.

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