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Solar evaporation enhancement using floating light-absorbing magnetic particles

Zeng, Y., Yao, J., Horri, B.A., Wang, K., Wu, Y., Li, D. and Wang, H. (2011) Solar evaporation enhancement using floating light-absorbing magnetic particles. Energy & Environmental Science, 4 (10). pp. 4074-4078.

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We have demonstrated a new strategy for enhancing solar evaporation by using floating light-absorbing materials. Floating Fe3O4/C magnetic particles with an average size of 500 nm were synthesized by carbonization of poly(furfuryl alcohol) (PFA) incorporated with Fe3O4 nanoparticles. The Fe3O4/C particles had a BET surface area of 429 m2 g−1, and a density of 1.44 g cm−3. Because of their hydrophobicity and a bulk packing density of 0.53 g cm−3, Fe3O4/C particles were floatable on water. Our results indicated that these Fe3O4/C particles enhanced the water evaporation rate by as much as a factor of 2.3 in the solar evaporation of 3.5% salt water. In addition, Fe3O4/C particles were easily recycled using a magnet, and stable after being recycled three times. Our work provides a low-cost and highly effective way for accelerating solar evaporation for industrial applications such as solar desalination, salt production, brine management and wastewater treatment.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: RSC Publishing
Copyright: © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2011
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