Multifunctional Solar Waterways: Plasma-Enabled Self-Cleaning Nanoarchitectures for Energy-Efficient Desalination

Wu, S, Xiong, G, Yang, H, Gong, B, Tian, Y, Xu, C, Wang, Y, Fisher, T, Yan, J, Cen, K
et al (show 4 more authors) (2019) Multifunctional Solar Waterways: Plasma-Enabled Self-Cleaning Nanoarchitectures for Energy-Efficient Desalination. Advanced Energy Materials.

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© 2019 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim Evaporating seawater and separating salt from water is one of the most promising solutions for global water scarcity. State-of-the-art water desalination devices combining solar harvesting and heat localization for evaporation using nanomaterials still suffer from several issues in energy efficiency, long-term performance, salt fouling, light blocking, and clean water collection in real-world applications. To address these issues, this work devises plasma-enabled multifunctional all-carbon nanoarchitectures with on-surface waterways formed by nitrogen-doped hydrophilic graphene nanopetals (N-fGPs) seamlessly integrated onto the external surface of hydrophobic self-assembled graphene foam (sGF). The N-fGPs simultaneously transport water and salt ions, absorb sunlight, serve as evaporation surfaces, then capture the salts, followed by self-cleaning. The sGF ensures effective thermal insulation and enhanced heat localization, contributing to high solar-vapor efficiency of 88.6 ± 2.1%. Seamless connection between N-fGPs and sGF and self-cleaning of N-fGP structures by redissolution of the captured salts in the waterways lead to long-term stability over 240 h of continuous operation in real seawater without performance degradation, and a high daily evaporation yield of 15.76 kg m−2. By eliminating sunlight blocking and guiding condensed vapor, a high clean water collection ratio of 83.5% is achieved. The multiple functionalities make the current nanoarchitectures promising as multipurpose advanced energy materials.

Item Type: Article
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2019 12:28
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2021 03:27
DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201901286