There are many types of desiccants. Liquids like acetone and alcohols are dehydrating agents that can pull water vapor from the air. Solid salts like NaCl can also pull water vapor from air. The Cl- and Na+ ions can then move freely in the water. Desiccants like these are chemically reactive and therefore unsuitable for many applications. For these applications it’s better to use non reactive porous solids, with very large surface areas that bind water. Examples are Silica Gel, Molecular Sieve, Alumina Gel and Bentonite Clay.

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