Atmospheric-moisture-induced polyacrylate hydrogels for hybrid passive cooling

Roisul Hasan Galib, Yanpei Tian, Yue Lei, Saichao Dang, Xiaole Li, Arief Yudhanto, Gilles Lubineau, Qiaoqiang Gan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Heat stress is being exacerbated by global warming, jeopardizing human and social sustainability. As a result, reliable and energy-efficient cooling methods are highly sought-after. Here, we report a polyacrylate film fabricated by self-moisture-absorbing hygroscopic hydrogel for efficient hybrid passive cooling. Using one of the lowest-cost industrial materials (e.g., sodium polyacrylate), we demonstrate radiative cooling by reducing solar heating with high solar reflectance (0.93) while maximizing thermal emission with high mid-infrared emittance (0.99). Importantly, the manufacturing process utilizes only atmospheric moisture and requires no additional chemicals or energy consumption, making it a completely green process. Under sunlight illumination of 800 W m−2, the surface temperature of the film was reduced by 5 °C under a partly cloudy sky observed at Buffalo, NY. Combined with its hygroscopic feature, this film can simultaneously introduce evaporative cooling that is independent of access to the clear sky. The hybrid passive cooling approach is projected to decrease global carbon emissions by 118.4 billion kg/year compared to current air-conditioning facilities powered by electricity. Given its low-cost raw materials and excellent molding feature, the film can be manufactured through simple and cost-effective roll-to-roll processes, making it suitable for future building construction and personal thermal management needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6707
JournalNature Communications
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy

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