A layer of polymer material added to the nanoparticles allows the seawater to dilute the membrane's ability to absorb sunlight and heat the water itself, making the desalination process unnecessary.
Researchers at rice university in the new issue of the proceedings of the national academy of sciences, the report says, this is the school nanotechnology in water treatment center, the first major innovation is a combination of membrane distillation technology and nano photonics.
Membrane distillation is one of the major water desalination schemes at present. It USES the special properties of the microporous membrane to produce water vapor on one side of the membrane and condenses into fresh water through the membrane.The energy consumption of membrane distillation is lower than conventional thermal distillation, but it is still considerable, since it is not necessary to heat the water to the boiling point.
The researchers used ordinary nanoparticles in the market to develop a special material with a porous polymer, placed on the membrane surface.The material absorbs about 80 percent of the sun's energy, heating the water and producing water vapor through the sun.
The membrane thickness of the special material layer is about a few millimeters.The researchers say that if you use a condenser, you can produce 6 liters of fresh water per square meter per hour.They plan to develop modular devices that allow users to easily build suitable desalination facilities based on actual needs.