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Amazon Shop for: Silica Gel

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Registered: 05/31/13
Posts: 62
Last seen: 3 years, 1 month
Ped's DIY Humidity Scrubber
    #680096 - 08/01/13 07:08 PM (3 years, 2 months ago)

In my climate, humidity is a constant problem.  The economy is also a constant problem, such that there's not a lot of overhead for things like dehumidifiers.  Inspired by this DIY carbon filter tek, I hit upon the idea of using silica gel as a humidity scrubber.  It seems to be effective for reducing the humidity in my 190 cubic foot tent by 10-15%, running at around 300 CFM.

Ped's DIY Humidity Scrubber


Two wire mesh wastebaskets are used to create a double-walled mesh canister.  The space between the walls is filled with silica gel cat litter, a highly absorbent, low-density material.  Its large granules allow air to move through it fairly readily.

Silica gel holds 40%-50% of its weight in moisture.  12 lbs of silica gel will capture 5-6 lbs of moisture before saturation, at which point the canister can be emptied, and the silica gel baked to drive out the moisture.  The reusability of the silica makes it an economical option for people whose humidity exceeds their budget.

This can also be used to make a home-made carbon filter.  Just substitute activated carbon instead of silica.


12 lbs silica gel - I used Fresh4Life silica cat litter
Two wire mesh wastebaskets of different sizes - mine are 11" and 9" diameter
8" to 6" reducer
Foil pizza pan
Pre-filter medium, any department store
Tuck Tape

To extend the 8"-6" reducer to 9"-6", I cut a 6" hole in this foil pizza pan and taped it to the end of the reducer.  This also makes a handy "lid", holding the inner wall in place, and making it easy to remove for swapping out the silica.  The ends of the pizza pan are rolled around the outer wall to create an adequate seal.

I wrapped this with cheese cloth to cut down on the silica dust.  You can skip this step if you sift the larger granules out of your silica and use only those.

Simply plunk the inner basket inside the outer basket and pour the silica gel around the sides.  Fill it up all the way, naturally.

Wrap the exterior in pre-filter padding and you're good to go.  Now just connect the duct work.

I used a booster fan, as this does restrict the airflow a bit.  Next time, I will be sifting out the smaller silica granules, using only the larger ones.  This should minimize the airflow restriction.  Right out of the gate, this little mod seems to be effective at reducing the humidity inside the tent by 10-15%.  This is not a perfect solution, but should help prevent the humidity from getting out of control.  I imagine a two-stage system would be even more effective.


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