Bio-Inspired Solar Thermal Brine Treatment with Direct Vapor Generation

  • Mohamed Abbas Abdelsalam

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Conventional desalination processes generate a flow of clean water and almost equivalent volume of excessively saline brine solution, which is harmful to the aquatic life. In order to mitigate environmental concerns, innovative solar thermal distillation technology is expected to produce freshwater without brine rejection. Herein, we have fabricated scalable petals-like porous structure for solar vapor generation and brine treatment with zero liquid discharge that is driven by localized heating and interfacial evaporation. The proposed porous structure shows an excellent wicking performance while having good light absorptivity. Under one sun irradiance, our device is able to obtain a stable evaporation rate of 1.7 kg/m2h when dealing with synthetic seawater with a salinity of 3.5 wt%. The desalination performance for the flower-like device was investigated under outdoor conditions, and the device recorded a daily collection rate of 4.4 l/m2, which is sufficient for individual drinking needs. The proposed solar evaporator can also achieve directional salt precipitation by controlling the surface wettability of the porous structure by adding a hydrophobic photothermal layer on the top of the flower like structure. The performance of two structures were compared for 13 hours under one sun irradiance while using near-saturation synthetic brine (24wt%), the double layer device exhibits a high cumulative evaporation flux of 8.2 kg/m2h when compared to 6 kg/m2h recorded by the pristine flower like device.
Date of AwardJul 2022
Original languageAmerican English


  • Desalination
  • Brine Treatment
  • Zero Liquid Discharge
  • Solar Thermal
  • Vapor Generation.

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