Simultaneous generation of atmospheric water and electricity using a hygroscopic aerogel with fast sorption kinetics
KAUST DepartmentAdvanced Membranes and Porous Materials Research Center
Chemical Engineering Program
Chemical Science Program
Nanostructured Functional Materials (NFM) laboratory
Physical Science and Engineering (PSE) Division
Online Publication Date2020-09-02
Print Publication Date2020-12
Embargo End Date2022-09-02
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/665011
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AbstractSorption-based atmospheric water harvesting (AWH) is a promising technology to produce clean potable water in arid areas with scarce freshwater resources. However, most sorbents developed for this technology can only perform one cycle of water production per day due to slow water-sorption kinetics. Moreover, the heat produced during this process in current AWH systems is discarded and ultimately wasted. Here, we design and fabricate a hygroscopic aerogel material that has high water-sorption capacity, fast sorption kinetics, and excellent photothermal properties, and thus enables highly efficient solar-thermal driven AWH over a wide range of relative humidity. Furthermore, we demonstrate with this aerogel the concept of a dual-function system that simultaneously generates electricity while extracting fresh water from the air. The dual-function system achieves this by combining AWH with thermoelectric technology and using natural sunlight as the sole energy input. The model system can produce a maximum output power density of 6.6 mW/m2 during the moisture capture process at the relative humidity of 60%, and 520 mW/m2 during the water release process under 1 kW/m2 solar irradiation. We verify the real-world application and utility of this novel concept by conducting outdoor experiments using a homemade prototype.
CitationYang, K., Pan, T., Pinnau, I., Shi, Z., & Han, Y. (2020). Simultaneous generation of atmospheric water and electricity using a hygroscopic aerogel with fast sorption kinetics. Nano Energy, 105326. doi:10.1016/j.nanoen.2020.105326
SponsorsThis research is supported by the baseline research fund to Yu Han from This research is supported by the baseline research fund to Yu Han from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.