The utilization of solar energy has been expanded in various fields, such as photoelectricity, photochemical reaction and photo-thermal conversion. As a kind of fast-developing solar energy photo-thermal applications, direct solar steam generation (DSSG) have been considered as one of the promising and environmentally friendly technologies for desalination to deal with global water scarcity. Recent years, the photo-thermal material and structure of the DSSG system have been researched to accomplish satisfactory DSSG efficiency (more than 80% under one sun). However, the drawbacks of the material of the DSSG system, such as high cost, complex preparation, impede the practical implication of the DSSG technology. Here, we fast prepare the flame-treated melamine foam (F-MF) by a simple method and reassemble an F-MF system for DSSG. The efficiency of the F-MF setup can reach as much as 87.9% under 2.0-sun. For desalination with high concentration seawater (3.5–15 wt%), the evaporation rate of the system is more than 2.39 kg m−2 h−1 under 2.0-sun without channel blocking. This study presents a low-cost and high-efficient F-MF system which can contribute to the solar-driven desalination application.
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