Sustainable Pathways For Solar Desalination Using Nanofluids: A Critical Review


Water is a fundamental requirement for the survival of human beings. Although water is abundantly available across the globe, access to freshwater still remains a major concern. Most of the water available is saline or brackish, which is not fit for human consumption. Desalination is the optimum solution for production of potable water from saline water. A major shortcoming of conventional desalination technologies is their dependence on fossil fuel that results in environmental degradation, global warming, etc. Therefore, sustainable desalination technology has evolved as a need of hour. Among all renewable energy resources, solar energy is abundantly available and can be potentially harvested. Therefore, solar energy can be used to drive sustainable desalination technologies. A solar still converts saline water into freshwater in a single step using solar energy. But the major drawbacks of solar still are relatively lower efficiency and lower yield. Nanofluids are widely used to overcome these limitations due to their extraordinary and unique properties. This paper critically reviews the recent research performed on the application of nanofluids in solar desalination systems. Methods of nanofluid preparation, their types and properties are also discussed in detail. Application of nanofluids in solar desalination systems is discussed with special attention on performance enhancement of solar stills. Combinations of nanofluids with various other performance enhancement techniques are also considered. The effectiveness of nanofluids in solar stills is found to be dependent majorly on the nature and concentration of the nanofluid used.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Nano-fluids; Potable water; Renewable energy; Solar desalination; Sustainability

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1096-0953; 0013-9351

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2023 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

15 Jan 2024

PubMed ID