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Biomass-Printed Hybrid Solar Evaporator Derived from Bio-polluted Invasive Species, a Potential Step toward Carbon Neutrality

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posted on 2023-03-23, 05:07 authored by Muhammad Sultan Irshad, Naila Arshad, Gang Liu, Naveed Mushtaq, Arshad Ali Lashari, Wancheng Qin, Muhammad Sohail Asghar, Hongrong Li, Xianbao Wang
Biomass-based photothermal conversion is of great importance for solar energy utilization toward carbon neutrality. Herein, a hybrid solar evaporator is innovatively designed via UV-induced printing of pyrolyzed Kudzu biochar on hydrophilic cotton fabric (KB@CF) to integrate all parameters in a single evaporator, such as solar evaporation, salt collection, waste heat recovery for thermoelectricity, sieving oil emulsions, and water disinfection from microorganisms. The UV-induced printed fabric demonstrates stronger material adhesion as compared to the conventional dip-dry technique. The hybrid solar evaporator gives an enhanced evaporation rate (2.32 kg/m2 h), and the complementary waste heat recovery system generates maximum open-circuit voltage (Vout ∼ 143.9 mV) and solar to vapor conversion efficiency (92%), excluding heat losses under one sun illumination. More importantly, 99.98% of photothermal-induced bacterial killing efficiency was achieved within 20 min under 1 kW m–2 using the hyperthermia effect of Kudzu biochar. Furthermore, numerical heat-transfer simulations were performed successfully to analyze the enhanced interfacial heat accumulation (75.3 °C) and heat flux distribution of the thermoelectric generators under one sun. We firmly believe that the safe use of bio-polluted invasive species in hybrid solar-driven evaporation systems eases the environmental pressure toward carbon neutrality.

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