High Efficiency in Energy Generation from Salinity Gradients with Reverse Electrodialysis

Vermaas, David A.; Veerman, Joost; Yip, Ngai Yin; Elimelech, Menachem; Saakes, Michel; Nijmeijer, Kitty

Renewable energy can be captured from the mixing of salt and fresh water in reverse electrodialysis. This paper investigates the energy efficiency of this process for feed waters that pass a reverse electrodialysis cell once and waters that pass multiple cells or electrode segments. So far, the maximum theoretical energy efficiency was considered to be 50% when the feed waters pass a single cell once; significantly higher efficiencies could only be obtained when the waters were recirculated or passed multiple electrodes. In this study, we show that the ion transport corresponding to the obtained energy and the electromotive force mutually influence each other, which enables capture of more than 50% (even up to 95%) of the theoretical energy, even when the feedwater streams pass a reverse electrodialysis cell only once.


Also Published In

ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering

More About This Work

Academic Units
Earth and Environmental Engineering
American Chemical Society
Published Here
July 14, 2016