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Title: Solar seawater distillation by flexible and fully passive multistage membrane distillation
Authors: Wang, W
Shi, Y
Zhang, C
Li, R
Wu, M
Zhuo, S
Aleid, S
Wang, P 
Issue Date: Jun-2021
Source: Nano letters, 23 June 2021, v. 21, no. 12, p. 5068-5074
Abstract: Solar-assisted distillation is considered promising to solve the freshwater supply for off-grid communities. In this work, a passive and flexible multistage membrane distillation (F-MSMD) device is devised to produce freshwater via solar distillation with the latent heat of vapor condensation being recycled to enhance its energy efficiency. By designing a siphon effect, source water is continuously wicked into the evaporation layer and the concentrated brine flows out of the device before reaching saturation, which successfully solves the otherwise challenge of salt accumulation inside the device. To achieve such siphon flow, the recycled paper is prepared from spent copy paper and used as the evaporation layer for efficient water delivery owing to its large pore size and high hydrophilicity. An eight-stage F-MSMD device exhibits a stable clean water production rate at 3.61 kg m-2 h-1 in the newly designed siphon-flow mode. This work provides a green route for designing a solar-assisted distillation device.
Keywords: Enthalpy recycle
Flexible device
Green technology
Off-grid sanitation
Paper recycle
Portable device
Solar distillation
Publisher: American Chemical Society
Journal: Nano letters 
ISSN: 1530-6984
EISSN: 1530-6992
DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.1c00910
Rights: © 2021 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society
This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
The following publication Wang, W., Shi, Y., Zhang, C., Li, R., Wu, M., Zhuo, S., ... & Wang, P. (2021). Solar Seawater Distillation by Flexible and Fully Passive Multistage Membrane Distillation. Nano Letters is available at
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