MORE | Summer 2020

Development of A Photo-Responsive Moisture-Absorbent Composite for Atmospheric Water Extraction

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Atmospheric water extraction utilizing adsorbent to provide fresh water shows promise but currently suffers from energy intensive. To address power concern, a hybrid adsorbent consisting of a hygroscopic material, a hydrogel as reservoir and a photo-responsive agent will be designed. Optimized poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) hydrogel network has demonstrated water uptake of 22 g/g at room temperature and effectively released approximately 18 g/g at 40 ˚C within 30 minutes by tuning the compositions. Additionally, preliminary synthesis of hygroscopic materials for atmospheric water absorption and functionalization of the photosensitive agent, spiropyran, are currently in progress for future work.

Student researcher

Xingbang Zhao

Materials science and engineering

Hometown: Jinan, Shandong, China

Graduation date: Fall 2020