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Freshwater production from seawater and atmospheric moisture enabled by a solar-driven water generator

Project description

Solar-induced desalination and atmospheric water harvesting

Cryogels, polymeric gels formed after freezing water, can be used for solar-induced desalination and atmospheric water harvesting. The EU-funded SWaG project is working on an easy-to-use portable device incorporating the photothermal cryogel. Specifically, it will develop the photothermal cryogels so they generate potable water in two ways. The first is with the solar desalination achieved through solar-induced evaporation of seawater followed by condensation of the vapour generated. The second is through atmospheric water harvesting through the absorption of water vapour followed by water recovery via solar-induced evaporation. The project will serve as a solution for decentralised water production in remote communities and disaster relief applications.

Objective

The experienced researcher (ER), Dr. Siew-Leng LOO, will carry out a fellowship to develop a new cryogel-based material for onsite water production from seawater and atmospheric moisture. The fellowship will be carried out in Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) under the supervision of Dr. Despina FRAGOULI. Specifically, the research aims to develop photothermal cryogels that can generate potable water via two approaches: (i) solar desalination achieved through solar-induced evaporation of seawater followed by condensation of the vapor generated, and (ii) atmospheric-water harvesting accomplished through the absorption of water vapor followed by (liquid) water recovery via solar-induced evaporation. This work will be the first demonstration of cryogels for solar-induced desalination and atmospheric-water harvesting. A portable device incorporating the photothermal cryogel that is easy to use will also be developed as a technological solution for decentralized water production in remote communities and disaster relief applications. Therefore, the work will not only advance the scientific understanding on desirable structures for enhanced performance in solar-induced desalination and atmospheric-water harvesting, but it also potentially have significant societal and humanitarian implications.

Coordinator

FONDAZIONE ISTITUTO ITALIANO DI TECNOLOGIA
Net EU contribution
€ 171 473,28
Address
VIA MOREGO 30
16163 Genova
Italy

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Region
Nord-Ovest Liguria Genova
Activity type
Research Organisations
Links
Total cost
€ 171 473,28