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Low Cost, Robust, Environmentally Friendly Geopolymer–Mesoporous Carbon Composites for Efficient Solar Powered Steam Generation

Liu, F., Zhao, B., Wu, W. ORCID: 0000-0003-1462-6402 , Yang, H., Ning, Y., Lai, Y. & Bradley, R. (2018). Low Cost, Robust, Environmentally Friendly Geopolymer–Mesoporous Carbon Composites for Efficient Solar Powered Steam Generation. Advanced Functional Materials, 28(47), 1803266. doi: 10.1002/adfm.201803266


High-efficiency, environment friendly, renewable energy-based methods of desalination represent attractive and potentially very powerful solutions to the long-standing problem of global water shortage. Many new laboratory-scale materials have been developed for photothermal desalination but the development of low-cost, easy-to-manufacture, and scalable materials and systems that can convert solar irradiation into exploitable thermal energy in this context is still a significant challenge. This paper presents work on a geopolymer–biomass mesoporous carbon composite (GBMCC) device with mesoporous and macroporous structures for harvesting solar energy, which is then used in a device to generate water vapor with high efficiency using negative pressure, wind-driven, steam generation. The GBMCC device gives water evaporation rates of 1.58 and 2.71 kg m−2 h−1 under 1 and 3 suns illumination, with the solar thermal conversion efficiency up to 84.95% and 67.6%, respectively. A remarkable, record high water vapor generation rate of 7.55 kg m−2 h−1 is achieved under 1 sun solar intensity at the wind speed of 3 m s−1. This is a key step forward todays efficient, sustainable and economical production of clean water from seawater or common wastewater with free solar energy.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: F. Liu, B. Zhao, W. Wu, H. Yang, Y. Ning, Y. Lai, R. Bradley, Adv. Funct. Mater. 2018, 28, 1803266., which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
Text - Accepted Version
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