MIT Engineers Find a Way To Save Energy and Make Water Boil More Efficiently


New surface treatments could save energy for systems used in many industries. At the heart of a wide range of industrial processes, including most electricity generating plants, many chemical production systems, and even cooling systems for electronics, is an energy-intensive step with the boiling of water or other fluids.

They could significantly reduce their energy use by improving the efficiency of systems that heat and evaporate Water Boil. MIT researchers have now found a way to do just that, with a specially designed surface treatment for the materials used in these systems. Three different kinds of surface modifications, at different size scales, together account for the increased efficiency. The new findings are described in a paper published in the journal Advanced Materials by recent MIT graduate Youngsup Song PhD ’21, Ford Professor of Engineering Evelyn Wang, and four others at MIT. The scientists caution Water Boil that this initial finding is still at a laboratory scale, and more effort is required to develop a practical, industrial-scale process.

The heat transfer coefficient (HTC) and the critical heat flux (CHF) are two key parameters that describe the boiling process. There’s generally a tradeoff between the two in materials design, so anything that improves one of these parameters tends to make the other worse. But both are crucial for the efficiency of the system, and now, after years of work, through their combination of different textures added to a material’s surface, the team of scientists achieved a way of significantly improving both properties at the same time. The heat transfer coefficient (HTC) and the critical heat flux (CHF) are two key parameters that describe the boiling process. There’s generally a tradeoff between the two in materials design, so anything that improves one of these parameters tends to make the other worse. But both are crucial for the efficiency of the system, and now, after years of work, through their combination of different textures added to a material’s surface, the team of scientists achieved a way of significantly improving both properties at the same time.

Adding a series of microscale cavities, or dents, to a surface is a way of controlling the way bubbles form on that surface, keeping them effectively pinned to the locations of the dents and preventing them from spreading out into a heat-resisting film. In this work, the researchers created an array of 10-micrometer-wide dents separated by about 2 millimeters to prevent film formation. But that separation also reduces the concentration of bubbles at the surface, which can reduce the boiling efficiency. To compensate for that, the team introduced a much smaller-scale surface treatment, creating tiny bumps and ridges at the nanometer scale, which increases the surface area and promotes the rate of evaporation under the bubbles.

Source: This news is originally published by scitechdaily



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