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Issue 45, 2017
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Photothermal nanocomposite membranes for direct solar membrane distillation

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Abstract

Efficient utilization of renewable energy for desalination is critical to solving the world's water scarcity issues. In this manuscript, we report a novel direct solar membrane distillation (MD) process that utilizes a photothermal nanoparticle coating to capture sunlight and convert it to heat at the membrane surface, providing the thermal driving force for the MD process. This approach overcomes the major limitation of temperature polarization encountered in conventional MD processes and significantly increases the energy efficiency of MD. Membranes coated with carbon black nanoparticles or SiO2/Au nanoshells showed an increase of up to 33.0% in distillate flux when irradiated with simulated sunlight at 1 sun unit in a bench scale direct contact membrane distillation system, while the salt rejection and liquid entry pressure remained unchanged. These results demonstrate the potential of photothermal membranes for direct solar MD.

Graphical abstract: Photothermal nanocomposite membranes for direct solar membrane distillation

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Publication details

The article was received on 25 May 2017, accepted on 23 Oct 2017 and first published on 23 Oct 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TA04555G
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017,5, 23712-23719
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    Photothermal nanocomposite membranes for direct solar membrane distillation

    J. Wu, K. R. Zodrow, P. B. Szemraj and Q. Li, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, 5, 23712
    DOI: 10.1039/C7TA04555G

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