Solar-driven surface-heating membrane distillation using Ti3C2Tx MXene-coated spacers

Noora Almarzooqi, Rawan Abu Alwan, Faisal AlMarzooqi*, Noreddine Ghaffour, Seunghyun Hong*, Hassan A. Arafat*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The emergence of two-dimensional (2D) MXenes as efficient light-to-heat conversion materials offers significant potential for solar-based desalination, particularly in photothermal interfacial evaporation, enabling cost-effective solar-powered membrane distillation (MD). This study investigates solar-powered MD afforded by a photothermally functionalized spacer, which is built by spray-coating Ti3C2Tx MXene sheets on metallic spacers. 2D Ti3C2Tx MXene gives an ultrahigh photothermal conversion efficiency; thereby, by Ti3C2Tx MXene-coated metallic spacer, this rationally designed spacer allows for a localized photothermal conversion and interfacial feed heating effect on the membrane surface, especially for MD operation. As a feed spacer and a photothermal element, Ti3C2Tx MXene-coated metallic spacer exhibited stable enhanced water flux of up to 0.36 kg·m−2h−1 under one sun illumination for a feed salinity of 35 g·L−1, corresponding energy conversion efficiency of 28.3 %. Overall, the developed photothermal Ti3C2Tx MXene-coated spacers displayed great potential in enhancing the performance, scalability, and feasibility of solar-driven MD process, paving the way for further development of photothermal elements that can be implemented in solar MD applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number141129
StatePublished - Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Elsevier Ltd


  • Metallic spacer
  • MXene
  • Photothermal evaporation
  • Solar energy
  • Spray coating
  • Surface heating membrane distillation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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