Transforming Intrinsically Hydrophilic Ti3C2Tx MXene into Superhydrophobic for Efficient Photothermal Membrane Desalination (MD)

Project: Research

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We propose the development of a Ti3C2TxMXene-engineered membrane, which will possess an efficient localized photothermal effect and strong water-repellence for sustainable use in photothermal MD processes. The high photothermal conversion efficiency of MXene will allow photothermally localized surface heating on the membrane to enable the generation of vapor at the feed-membrane interface, eluding inherent heat loss induced by continuous water-to-vapor transition. In addition, the highly electrical conductive MXene plays a structure-directing role, allowing the self-assembly of uniform hierarchical polymeric nanospheres on the membrane surface via electrostatic spraying, transforming its intrinsic hydrophilicity into superhydrophobicity. Benefiting from this interfacial engineering, the prepared photothermal membrane will offer constant high across-membrane temperature gradient as well as strong wetting resistance, enabling freshwater production when treating hypersaline water under one sun irradiation. This superhydrophobic MXene membrane will improve the energy-efficiency of the process, alleviates temperature polarization effect, and offer durable wetting resistance during long-term operations. 


Project number7020048
Grant typeSIRG
Effective start/end date1/05/22 → …