Chemical Engineering and Industrial Chemistry

Side Area-Assisted 3D Evaporator with Antibiofouling Function for Ultra-Efficient Solar Steam Generation



Solar-driven interfacial steam generation (SISG) has been recognized as the most promising strategy to solve water shortages in an eco-friendly and low-cost way. However, the practical application of SISG is vitally restricted by some inherent limits, especially for finite evaporation rate and insufficient working life of evaporator. Herein, we explore a novel SISG system involving an all-fiber porous cylinder-like foam (AFPCF) 3D evaporator, side area-assisted evaporation protocol, and aggregation-induced emission (AIE)-active molecules with “one stone two birds” function. The AIE-featured solar absorber exhibits highly efficient sunlight absorption and photothermal conversion, endowing the side area-assisted evaporator with as high as 3.6 kg m-2 h -1 of solar evaporation rate under 1 sun of irradiation. Moerover, the evaporator is capable of powerfully producing reactive oxygen species (ROS) upon sunlight irradiation benefiting the prominent photosensitizing property of the AIE molecules, which results in extraordinary photodynamic killing of bacteria nearby the fiber to prevent biofouling, consequently improving the working life of evaporator


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