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Carbon Nanotubes for Steam Generation by Heat localization

Generally, steam is generated by applying heat energy. The heat energy is generated via both renewable and non-renewable energy sources such as nuclear, coal, solar etc. The generated steam is used for power generation, water purification, steam locomotives.

Using solar energy for generating steam is attracting special attention. The conventional way of using solar energy for steam generation raises the bulk water temperature. This requires costly optical setups which are prone to optical and surface heat losses[1].

Nanomaterials offer localized heat production via photothermal response to generate steam. This helps avoid bulk water heating and associated energy losses[2].

The localized heat generation efficiency depends on the following:

1.) ability to absorb sunlight in broad-spectrum, 2.) thermal management, 3.) water transportation, and 4.) water evaporation.

Various materials are being used as solar absorbents such as semiconducting materials, carbon materials, and metallic plasmonic[3].

Recently, the carbon nanotubes fascinated much attention due to their broadband sunlight absorption and high light to heat conversion. The evaporation of water can be increased by concentrating more sunlight and also by increasing the amount of nanotubes in water[4].

The small diameter NoPo HiPCO® single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) can be used to increase the evaporation rate by localized heating in the water-air interface. NoPo has expertise in making the dispersion of SWCNT in water. We will be happy to offer our help. You can write to us on


[1] H. Ghasemi et al., “Solar steam generation by heat localization,” Nat. Commun., vol. 5, p. 4449, Jul. 2014. [2] O. Neumann et al., “Compact solar autoclave based on steam generation using broadband light-harvesting nanoparticles,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., vol. 110, no. 29, pp. 11677–11681, Jul. 2013. [3] V.-D. Dao and H.-S. Choi, “Carbon-Based Sunlight Absorbers in Solar-Driven Steam Generation Devices,” Glob. Chall., vol. 2, no. 2, p. 1700094, Feb. 2018. [4] X. Wang, Y. He, G. Cheng, L. Shi, X. Liu, and J. Zhu, “Direct vapor generation through localized solar heating via carbon-nanotube nanofluid,” Energy Convers. Manag., vol. 130, pp. 176–183, Dec. 2016.

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