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Interfacial Solar Distillation for Freshwater Production: Fate of Volatile and Semivolatile Organic Contaminants

  • Rong Chen
    Rong Chen
    Zhejiang Key Laboratory of Drinking Water Safety and Distribution Technology, College of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, P. R. China
    School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332, United States
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  • Tianqi Zhang
    Tianqi Zhang
    School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332, United States
    More by Tianqi Zhang
  • Juhee Kim
    Juhee Kim
    School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332, United States
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  • Huan Peng
    Huan Peng
    Zhejiang Key Laboratory of Drinking Water Safety and Distribution Technology, College of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, P. R. China
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  • Miaomiao Ye*
    Miaomiao Ye
    Zhejiang Key Laboratory of Drinking Water Safety and Distribution Technology, College of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, P. R. China
    *Email: [email protected]. Phone: 86-571-88206759. Fax: 86-571-88208721.
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  • , and 
  • Ching-Hua Huang*
    Ching-Hua Huang
    Zhejiang Key Laboratory of Drinking Water Safety and Distribution Technology, College of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, P. R. China
    School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332, United States
    *Email: [email protected]. Phone: 404-894-7694. Fax: 404-358-7087.
Cite this: Environ. Sci. Technol. 2021, 55, 9, 6248–6256
Publication Date (Web):April 8, 2021
https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.0c07191
Copyright © 2021 American Chemical Society
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Abstract

Interfacial solar distillation (ISD) is an approach with low cost and low energy demand useful for seawater desalination and freshwater production. However, the commercial potential of ISD for applications such as polluted seawater desalination or industrial wastewater reuse may be hindered by low rejection of volatile and semivolatile contaminants. For the first time, the results of this study showed that the transport (from bulk water (B) to distilled water (D)) of volatile and semivolatile contaminants during the solar desalination process was highly correlated with compound volatility (R2 = 0.858). The obtained relationship was verified to be capable of predicting the distillation concentration ratio (CD/CB,0) of different contaminants (KH = 6.29 × 10–7–2.94 × 10–4 atm·m3·mol–1) during the ISD process. Compounds such as phenols, which have relatively high volatilization and condensation rates, deserve the most attention as potential contaminants in the distilled water. Meanwhile, other compounds that are more volatile than phenol condensed less in distilled water. Adding an activated carbon adsorbent or a photothermal oxidant is a promising strategy to effectively mitigate the distillation of contaminants and ensure water safety. These results fill the knowledge gap in understanding the transport of volatile and semivolatile compounds in ISD for the treatment of complex source waters.

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The Supporting Information is available free of charge at https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.0c07191.

  • Texts for chemicals and materials, Henry’s law constant, and effect of temperature on KH. Tables and Figures on: vapor pressure of different compounds; HPLC methods for the different compounds investigated in this study; mass distribution of each compound in different components of a solar evaporator; schematic diagram of the production process of an interfacial solar evaporator; volume of distilled water in the presence of different initial PN concentrations and salt conditions; distillation concentration ratios of the different compounds investigated in this study; adsorption of compounds to the evaporation disc; photolysis loss of compounds; temperature profiles in a solar evaporator; different solar stills investigated in this study; effect of solar intensity on the distillation concentration ratios of AS, NB and PN (PDF)

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Cited By


This article is cited by 1 publications.

  1. Yangyi Xiao, Chenxing Li, Xiaojiao Zhou, Ningyao Tao, Miaomiao Ye. Removal of Typical Volatile Organic Compounds in Condensed Freshwater by Activated Persulfate during Interfacial Solar Distillation. ACS ES&T Water 2021, 1 (11) , 2423-2430. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsestwater.1c00261