Farm-waste-derived recyclable photothermal evaporator

Yanpei Tian, Xiaojie Liu, Jiansheng Li, Yichen Deng, Joseph A. DeGiorgis, Shiyu Zhou, Andrew Caratenuto, Marilyn L. Minus, Yinsheng Wan, Gang Xiao, Yi Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Interfacial solar steam generation is emerging as a promising technique for efficient desalination. Although increasing efforts have been made, challenges exist for achieving a balance among a plethora of performance indicators—for example, rapid evaporation, durability, low-cost deployment, and salt rejection. Here, we demonstrate that carbonized manure can convert 98% of sunlight into heat, and the strong capillarity of porous carbon fibers networks pumps sufficient water to evaporation interfaces. Salt diffusion within microchannels enables quick salt drainage to the bulk seawater to prevent salt accumulation. With these advantages, this biomass-derived evaporator is demonstrated to feature a high evaporation rate of 2.81 kg m−2 h−1 under 1 sun with broad robustness to acidity and alkalinity. These advantages, together with facial deployment, offer an approach for converting farm waste to energy with high efficiency and easy implementation, which is particularly well suited for developing regions.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCell Reports Physical Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 22 2021
Externally publishedYes


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