Jump to main content
Jump to site search
SCHEDULED MAINTENANCE Close the message box

Maintenance work is planned for Monday 16 August 2021 from 07:00 to 23:59 (BST).

Website performance may be temporarily affected and you may not be able to access some PDFs or images. If this does happen, refreshing your web browser should resolve the issue. We apologise for any inconvenience this might cause and thank you for your patience.


Issue 8, 2020

Low-cost desalination of seawater and hypersaline brine using nanophotonics enhanced solar energy membrane distillation

Author affiliations

Abstract

A stand-alone small-scale nanophotonics enhanced solar membrane distillation (NESMD) testbed was designed, developed, and tested for desalinating seawater and high salinity feedwaters. This NESMD system can take almost any source water and turn it into clean water with sunlight as the only energy source. The NESMD technology applies nanophotonic coating materials on a commercial hydrophobic polypropylene support of a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) membrane surface. The photothermal coating serves as a solar thermal collector, absorbs solar energy, and generates highly localized heat on the membrane, while the rest of the membrane performs membrane distillation functions. The presented NESMD system is equipped with an internal heat recovery system with no need for external electricity and no additional water for cooling. The NESMD testbed is installed and tested at Rice University campus (29.7174° N, 95.4018° W). In this study, real seawater from Galveston Bay, Texas, U.S. and high salinity simulated feedwaters (total dissolved solids (TDS) of 113 200–200 000 PPM) have been tested for long-term testing under the weather conditions of Houston, Texas. The field testing results showed stable desalination performance in consecutive 5–8 hour operation cycles, with a TDS removal of ≥99.5% in all experiments. An average daily membrane flux of ≥0.75 L m−2 h−1 was achieved at a solar intensity close to 1 kW m−2 without an external heat exchanger. Further investigations and improvements are required to enhance the performance of the reactor since it is still a new promising technology.

Graphical abstract: Low-cost desalination of seawater and hypersaline brine using nanophotonics enhanced solar energy membrane distillation

Article information


Submitted
20 Mar 2020
Accepted
09 Jun 2020
First published
17 Jun 2020

Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol., 2020,6, 2180-2196
Article type
Paper
Author version available

Low-cost desalination of seawater and hypersaline brine using nanophotonics enhanced solar energy membrane distillation

I. A. Said, N. Fuentes, Z. He, R. Xin, K. Zuo and Q. Li, Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol., 2020, 6, 2180 DOI: 10.1039/D0EW00254B

To request permission to reproduce material from this article, please go to the Copyright Clearance Center request page.

If you are an author contributing to an RSC publication, you do not need to request permission provided correct acknowledgement is given.

If you are the author of this article, you do not need to request permission to reproduce figures and diagrams provided correct acknowledgement is given. If you want to reproduce the whole article in a third-party publication (excluding your thesis/dissertation for which permission is not required) please go to the Copyright Clearance Center request page.

Read more about how to correctly acknowledge RSC content.


Social activity

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements