Transforming Ti3C2Tx MXene’s intrinsic hydrophilicity into superhydrophobicity for efficient photothermal membrane desalination

Baoping Zhang, Pak Wai Wong, Jiaxin Guo, Yongsen Zhou, Yang Wang, Jiawei Sun, Mengnan Jiang, Zuankai Wang, Alicia Kyoungjin An

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Owing to its 100% theoretical salt rejection capability, membrane distillation (MD) has emerged as a promising seawater desalination approach to address freshwater scarcity. Ideal MD requires high vapor permeate flux established by cross-membrane temperature gradient (∆T) and excellent membrane durability. However, it’s difficult to maintain constant ∆T owing to inherent heat loss at feedwater side resulting from continuous water-to-vapor transition and prevent wetting transition-induced membrane fouling and scaling. Here, we develop a Ti3C2Tx MXene-engineered membrane that imparts efficient localized photothermal effect and strong water-repellency, achieving significant boost in freshwater production rate and stability. In addition to photothermal effect that circumvents heat loss, high electrically conductive Ti3C2Tx MXene also allows for self-assembly of uniform hierarchical polymeric nanospheres on its surface via electrostatic spraying, transforming intrinsic hydrophilicity into superhydrophobicity. This interfacial engineering renders energy-efficient and hypersaline-stable photothermal membrane distillation with a high water production rate under one sun irradiation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3315
JournalNature Communications
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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