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Seawater Desalination Using MOF-Incorporated Cu-Based Alginate Beads without Energy Consumption

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journal contribution
posted on 24.03.2020 by Sang Joon Lee, Taeseong Hann, Sung Ho Park
The demand for fresh water is gradually and globally increasing due to the growth of population and water contamination. To meet this global demand, we fabricated metal–organic framework (MOF)-incorporated Cu-based alginate beads (Cu–MOF–Alg beads) for effective removal of water-dissolved salt ions from seawater. Alginic acid formed a matrix for preconfined Cu coordination. In this matrix, the MOFs were successfully in situ synthesized with organic ligands. The as-prepared Cu–MOF–Alg beads exhibited exceptional salt ion adsorption with the extraction of sedimented MOF particles. The adsorption characteristics of the fabricated Cu–MOF–Alg beads exhibited a linear isotherm according to the concentration of Na+ ions. In addition, the beads could be applied over a wide concentration range of target solutions and maintained their ion adsorption capacity after three repeated uses. The beads exhibited rapid adsorption kinetics, and their salt ion removal rate was approximately 94.3% through a multistage adsorption process. The MOF-treated seawater, which was desalinated to a low concentration of 1000 ppm, was filtered by a mangrove-inspired membrane, which yielded a total ion removal rate of 98.1%. Considering the low material cost compared to other adsorption-based desalination techniques and the absence of external energy supply, the proposed hybrid desalination system can produce purified water at an extremely low cost. Thus, this desalination technique could be economically and ecofriendly utilized for practical seawater desalination in a facile manner.