IIT Guwahati Researchers Develop Novel Nanofluid for Efficient Solar-Powered Desalination
Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, led by Prof. Tamal Banerjee from the Department of Chemical Engineering, have achieved a breakthrough in sustainable desalination technology.
October 16, 2023. By News Bureau
The world is grappling with a severe water shortage, and the demand for desalination, the process of extracting freshwater from saltwater, is becoming increasingly critical. Traditional desalination methods rely on heat generated by burning fossil fuels, leading to economic and environmental challenges. Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), which uses sunlight to generate heat, offers a more sustainable approach.
However, the challenge lies in efficiently transferring the generated heat from CSP systems to desalination plants. Conventional heat transfer fluids like molten salts and synthetic oils have limitations, including high melting points and low heat transfer efficiencies. Additionally, India's reliance on imported heat transfer fluids increases capital costs.
To address these issues, IIT Guwahati researchers explored the use of nanofluids, which are suspensions of nanoparticles in Deep Eutectic Solvent (DES).
They harnessed the exceptional thermal conductivity and stability of graphene oxide dispersed in a DES, a safe and environmentally friendly solvent. By modifying graphene oxide with an amine functionality, they achieved enhanced dispersion stability, overcoming the tendency of nanoparticles to aggregate.
The study showcased the superior thermal properties of nanofluids in heat transfer applications and proposed an innovative desalination system using nanofluids and a heat exchanger. This system has the potential to achieve a Gain Output Ratio (GOR) of around 10, indicating the capability to produce a larger quantity of freshwater.
The research findings were published in the journal Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering by the American Chemical Society and were funded by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.
This innovative approach holds great promise in addressing the pressing issue of global water scarcity and reducing the environmental impact of desalination.
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