Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol.581, 504-513, 2021
Three-dimensional self-floating foam composite impregnated with porous carbon and polyaniline for solar steam generation
A promising approach to resolving insufficient freshwater resources is utilizing solar energy for steam generation. Although various types of photothermal conversion materials have been developed, there are still some obstacles, such as complicated system structure fabrication and low energy utilization, that severely hinder their practical application. Herein, we designed and produced a self-floating porous carbon/polyaniline foam (PCPF) evaporator via impregnating melamine foam with porous carbon generated following the bottom-up pyrolytic method and polyaniline, followed by thermal treatment, for efficient solar steam generation. The PCPF obtained with a porous carbon (PC) to polyaniline (PAN) mass ratio of 3:5 (PCPF-3) exhibited a rich pore structure, good hydrophilicity, low thermal conductivity (0.0413 W m(-1) K-1), and excellent light absorption (96.1%). Our results show that, without additional thermal insulators, the evaporation rate of PCPF-3 reached 1.496 kg m(-2) h(-1), and the photothermal con version efficiency reached 87.3% under one sun irradiation. Furthermore, it also exhibited good durability and desalination performance. This type of environmentally friendly, low-cost, and stable photothermal conversion material could be used in water treatment and seawater desalination. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.