Clean Carbon Cycle via High-Performing and Low-Cost Solar-Driven Production of Freshwater
KAUST DepartmentComputer, Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering (CEMSE) Division
Electrical and Computer Engineering Program
PRIMALIGHT Research Group
Online Publication Date2021-09-12
Print Publication Date2021-10
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/671192
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AbstractWhile renewable power available worldwide costs increasingly less than the least expensive option based on fossil fuels, countries continue to increase their coal-fired capacity, which should conversely fall by 80% within a decade to limit global warming effects. To address the challenges to the implementation of such an aim, here, a path is explored that leverages on a previously unrecognized aspect of coal, opening to a new solar-driven carbon cycle that is environmentally friendly. By engineering the porosity matrix of coal into a suitably designed compressed volumetric structure, and by coupling it with a network of cotton fibers, it is possible to create a record performing device for freshwater production, with a desalination rate per raw material cost evaluated at 1.39 kg h −1 $ −1 at one sun intensity. This value is between two and three times higher than any other solar desalination device proposed to date. These results could envision a clean and socially sustainable cycle for carbon materials that, while enabling an enhanced water economy with global access to freshwater and sanitation, poses zero risks of reinjecting 𝐶𝑂2 into the environment through competing economies in the fossil's market.
CitationMazzone, V., Bonifazi, M., Aegerter, C. M., Cruz, A. M., & Fratalocchi, A. (2021). Clean Carbon Cycle via High-Performing and Low-Cost Solar-Driven Production of Freshwater. Advanced Sustainable Systems, 202100217. doi:10.1002/adsu.202100217
SponsorsV.M. and M.B. contributed equally to this work. The authors acknowledge the financial support of PERA Complexity and the advisory support of co-founder Quelita Moreno. The authors acknowledge the support of the mechanical workshop of the Physics Department at University of Zurich (UZH) and of Prof. David Tilley and all the members of his research group at the Department of Chemistry of the University of Zurich (UZH).
JournalAdvanced Sustainable Systems
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