Related publications: MRS Communications (2022)

Another emerging desalination technology is based on forward osmosis (FO), which uses a draw solution to drive water flux across a membrane. However, separation of the draw from the permeate water requires significant amounts of energy, and this has limited the applicability of FO thus far. To address this, we are developing thermally responsive draw solutes based on ionic liquids (IL) and photo-thermal converters to efficiently harness the solar spectrum. We are also exploring IL mixtures and thermal regeneration pathways with fast kinetics for this liquid-liquid phase separation. This in turn enables the use of solar heat for the water-draw separation process via direct radiative heating to yield fresh water.

Related publications: Environmental Science & Technology (2021)

photo thermal converters

Previous Projects

thermal energy conversion

polymer and hybrid

renewable hyd