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Water Vapor Condensation from Atmospheric Air by Super-Hydrophobic VACNTs Growth on Stainless Steel Pipes

  • R.A. Pinheiro (a1), D.D. Damm (a1) (a2), A.A. Silva (a1), R.M. Volu (a3), K.F. Almeida (a4), F.M. Rosa (a1), V.J. Trava-Airoldi (a1) and E.J. Corat (a1)...

Abstract

Energy-efficient condensation of steam contained in atmospheric air has emerged as a solution to the water scarcity. Academic and industrial research works that seeks to develop water collection devices with high efficiency has great relevance for the scientific community. In this work, we aim to show that modified carbon nanotubes forest can remove the condensed drops easier than a hydrophobic and a super-hydrophilic surface. In addition, this result was reached at high super saturation level which is an innovative aspect of this work. The Vertically Aligned Carbon Nanotubes (VACNTs) were grown on steel pipes. We used a CO2 laser and an O2 plasma to perform the post treatments that changed the CNTs to super-hydrophobic and super-hydrophilic, respectively. In addition, the CO2 laser treatment added a second level of roughness in the surface by etching the nanotubes walls. A polyethylene coating attached the carbon nanotubes to the substrate. We experimentally demonstrated a 24% higher vapor condensation rate at high supersaturations levels.

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