Chinese researchers develop graphene-based solar desalination

  • Research


Researchers from Nanjing University in China have developed a new type of solar desalination system that does not require a solar concentrator or thermal insulation.

Reporting on their progress in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences*, the research team has used a graphene oxide film as the basis for a device. Featuring a confined, two-dimensional water channel, it is able to achieve high levels of solar absorption and effective desalination.

The researchers state that the graphene oxide film is foldable and produced using a scalable process. With this at the core of the system, the researchers believe that the development represents ‘a concrete step for solar desalination to emergy as a complementary portable and personalized clean water solution’.

The device is reported by the researchers to be relatively inexpensive, effective and 80% efficient, but has yet to be trialled in real environmental conditions.

*Xiuqiang Li et al. Graphene oxide-based efficient and scalable solar desalination under one sun with a confined 2D water path, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2016). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1613031113


  • China, water resources, desalination