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Issue 44, 2017
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Computer simulation of water desalination through boron nitride nanotubes

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Abstract

Development of high-efficiency and low-cost seawater desalination technologies is critical to solving the global water crisis. Herein we report a fast water filtering method with high salt rejection by boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs). The effect of the radius of BNNTs on water filtering and salt rejection was investigated by molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. Our simulation results demonstrate that fast water permeation and high salt rejection could be achieved by BNNT(7,7) under both high pressure and low pressure. The potential of mean force (PMF) of Na+ ion and water molecule through BNNT(7,7) further revealed the mechanism of seawater desalination by BNNT(7,7). Using BNNT(7,7) array, a 10 cm2 nanotube membrane with 1.5 × 1013 pores per cm2 will produce freshwater with a flow rate of 98 L per day per MPa under 100 MPa. Our study shows the potential application of BNNTs membrane for fast and efficient desalination.

Graphical abstract: Computer simulation of water desalination through boron nitride nanotubes

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Publication details

The article was received on 12 Sep 2017, accepted on 18 Oct 2017 and first published on 18 Oct 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7CP06230C
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017,19, 30031-30038
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    Computer simulation of water desalination through boron nitride nanotubes

    L. Liang, J. Li, L. Zhang, Z. Zhang, J. Shen, L. Li and J. Wu, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017, 19, 30031
    DOI: 10.1039/C7CP06230C

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