Hot Spots Boost Desalination Efficiency

Hot Spots Boost Desalination Efficiency
Solar-powered hot spots can improve the efficiency of desalination systems by up to 50 percent.

The “nanophotonics-enabled solar membrane distillation” (NESMD) technology developed by the team from Rice University relies on inexpensive plastic lenses strategically placed to concentrate sunlight into hot spots. This concentration of heat creates a linear increase in heat that produces a nonlinear increase in vapor pressure—forcing more purified steam through the system’s membrane.

According to LANP director Naomi Halas, “Beyond water purification, this nonlinear optical effect also could improve technologies that use solar heating to drive chemical processes like photocatalysis.”

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