Understanding and predicting the performance of passive heat and moisture exchangers using a numerical model

Maartje Leemans, Maarten J. A. van Alphen, Wim Vallenduuk, Richard Dirven, Michiel W. M. van den Brekel, Sara H. Muller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: To improve the understanding of the thermodynamics and performance of small passive hygroscopic Heat and Moisture Exchangers (HMEs), a computer model simulating HME function is required. Methods: We developed a numerical HME model to calculate the HME's water and heat exchange. The model was tuned and verified with experimental data and validated by applying it to HME design variations. Results: Verification of the model's results to the experimental data shows that the tuned model yields reliable results. The mass of the core, which determines the HME's total heat capacity, is the most important parameter influencing the performance of passive HMEs. Conclusions: Increasing the HME's diameter is an effective way to improve an HME, as it yields higher performance and lowers breathing resistance. HMEs intended for use in warm or dry climates should contain more and those for use in cold humid climates should contain less hygroscopic salt.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)993-1005
Number of pages13
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number4
Early online date2023
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


  • HME
  • heat and moisture exchanger
  • numerical model
  • numerical simulation
  • performance
  • pulmonary rehabilitation

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