Desalination system could produce freshwater that is cheaper than tap water
Sep 27, 2023

Congratulations to Lenan Zhang, Yang Zhong, and their collaborators in China, including a DRL alumnus, Zhenyuan Xu, for their recent work on Extreme salt-resisting multistage solar distillation with thermohaline convection, which was featured on MIT News. This work demonstrates a solar-powered multistage membrane distillation with extreme salt-resisting performance inspired by a natural phenomenon, thermohaline convection. With a ten-stage device, we achieve record-high solar-to-water efficiencies in a wide salinity range. More importantly, we demonstrate an extreme resistance to salt accumulation with 180-h continuous desalination of 20 wt % concentrated seawater. With high freshwater production and extreme salt endurance, our desalination systems could produce freshwater that is cheaper than tap water, paving a pathway toward the practical adoption of passive solar desalination for a sustainable water economy.

Read more on MIT News and read the paper here.