Cellulose-Conducting Polymer Aerogels for Efficient Solar Steam Generation

Shaobo Han, Tero Petri Ruoko, Johannes Gladisch, Johan Erlandsson, Lars Wågberg, Xavier Crispin, Simone Fabiano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Seawater desalination and wastewater purification technologies are the main strategies against the global fresh water shortage. Among these technologies, solar-driven evaporation is effective in extracting fresh water by efficiently exploiting solar energy. However, building a sustainable and low-cost solar steam generator with high conversion efficiency is still a challenge. Here, pure organic aerogels comprising a cellulose scaffold decorated with an organic conducting polymer absorbing in the infrared are employed to establish a high performance solar steam generator. The low density of the aerogel ensures minimal material requirements, while simultaneously satisfying efficient water transport. To localize the absorbed solar energy and make the system floatable, a porous floating and thermal-insulating foam is placed between the water and the aerogel. Thanks to the high absorbance of the aerogel and the thermal-localization performance of the foam, the system exhibits a high water evaporation rate of 1.61 kg m−2 h−1 at 1 kW m−2 under 1 sun irradiation, which is higher than most reported solar steam generation devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2000004
JournalAdvanced Sustainable Systems
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • cellulose aerogels
  • freeze-drying
  • solar steam generation
  • water purification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science


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