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dc.contributor.authorDas, Ratul
dc.contributor.authorArunachalam, Sankara
dc.contributor.authorAhmad, Zain
dc.contributor.authorManalastas, Edelberto
dc.contributor.authorMishra, Himanshu
dc.date.accessioned2019-07-30T12:59:56Z
dc.date.available2019-07-30T12:59:56Z
dc.date.issued2019-06-16
dc.identifier.doi10.1016/j.memsci.2019.117185
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/656244
dc.description.abstractWidespread stress on global water supplies compels the need for low-cost and sustainable desalination processes. In this regard, desalination through membrane distillation (MD) can harness waste-grade heat or renewable energy. So far, the membranes for MD have been exclusively derived from intrinsically water-repellant materials - mostly perfluorocarbons. However, perfluorocarbons are limiting in terms of operational conditions, and they also introduce economic and environmental concerns. The development of perfluorocarbon-free MD membranes would likely address those challenges. Here, we report on the proof-of-concept for biomimetic gas-entrapping membranes (GEMs) for MD derived from silica and poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) that are water-wet materials. We drew inspiration for our GEM design from the cuticles of springtails and hairs of Halobates germanus, both of which exhibit mushroom-shaped (or reentrant) features. Accordingly, our GEMs comprise arrays of microscale cylindrical pores with reentrant inlets and outlets that can robustly entrap air on submersion in water. Our PMMA-GEMs yielded a vapor flux of J ≈ 1 L-m−2-h−1 while separating a solution of ∼0.6 M NaCl at 333 K from deionized water at 288 K under a cross-flow configuration. To our knowledge, this is the first-ever demonstration of MD membranes derived from intrinsically water-wet materials, and these findings suggest that the rational design of membranes towards greener and cheaper desalination processes is possible.
dc.description.sponsorshipThe authors thank KAUST Baseline Research Funding (BAS/1/1070-01-01). We thank Mr. Ulrich Buttner and Mr. Ahad A. Sayed from the KAUST Core Labs for their assistance with microfabrication. We thank Mr. Adair Gallo Junior for assistance with the MD experiments; Dr. Dina Garatly for assistance in preparing Fig. 3 and Figure S2; Dr. Eddy Domingues (Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal) for providing recipes for the dry etching of silica and silicon layers. The authors also thank Dr. Virginia Unkefer (KAUST) for assistance in editing the manuscript. We also thank Prof. Wei Song Hwang (National University of Singapore) and Prof. Lanna Cheng (Scripps Institution of Oceanography) for kindly providing us with specimens of springtails whose images we have presented in Fig. 1A–E. The co-authors thank Mr. Ivan Gromicho, Scientific Illustrator at KAUST, for preparing Fig. 4.
dc.publisherElsevier B.V.
dc.relation.urlhttps://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0376738819311524
dc.rightsThis is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY-NC-ND/4.0/).
dc.rights.urihttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY-NC-ND/4.0/
dc.subjectGreen desalination
dc.subjectMembrane distillation
dc.subjectPerfluorocarbon-free
dc.subjectWetting and non-wetting materials
dc.subjectBiomimetics
dc.subjectReentrant textures
dc.subjectMass transfer
dc.subjectHeat transfer
dc.titleBio-inspired gas-entrapping membranes (GEMs) derived from common water-wet materials for green desalination
dc.typeArticle
dc.contributor.departmentBiological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division
dc.contributor.departmentEnvironmental Science and Engineering
dc.contributor.departmentEnvironmental Science and Engineering Program
dc.contributor.departmentKing Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Water Desalination and Reuse Center (WDRC), Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering (BESE) Division, Thuwal, 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia
dc.contributor.departmentWater Desalination & Reuse Center
dc.contributor.departmentWater Desalination and Reuse Research Center (WDRC)
dc.identifier.journalJournal of Membrane Science
dc.eprint.versionPublisher's Version/PDF
kaust.personDas, Ratul
kaust.personArunachalam, Sankara
kaust.personAhmad, Zain
kaust.personManalastas, Edelberto
kaust.personMishra, Himanshu
kaust.grant.numberBAS/1/1070-01-01
refterms.dateFOA2019-07-30T13:00:33Z
kaust.acknowledged.supportUnitBaseline Research Funding
kaust.acknowledged.supportUnitCore Labs
kaust.acknowledged.supportUnitCore Labs
dc.date.published-online2019-06-16
dc.date.published-print2019-10


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This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY-NC-ND/4.0/).
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY-NC-ND/4.0/).