Programmed design of selectively-functionalized wood aerogel: Affordable and mildew-resistant solar-driven evaporator
The wood-based solar-driven interfacial evaporators are inexpensive for generating potable water. Previous research has focused on improving the light absorption capacity of wood-based devices rather than optimizing manufacturing costs, energy consumption, and internal structure. Here, a thermally stable wood-derived aerogel (TWA) with hierarchically ordered microchannels is programmatically designed via delignification and selective thermal treatment. The structural features of the TWA facilitate efficient thermal management during the solar-driven interfacial evaporation process. These features enable controlled hydrophilicity, low thermal conductivity, and good light absorption. By reducing the heat loss of the system, TWA has a high evaporation efficiency of 85.9% under 3 sun irradiation. In addition, TWA can operate in complicated water environments for long periods due to excellent mildew resistance and chemical stability. More importantly, TWA can be used to remove organic dyes and heavy metals in sewage, highlighting the significance of programmable-designed wood aerogel for the solar-driven interfacial evaporator.
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Australian National Fabrication Facility