Resistance of ion exchange membranes in aqueous mixtures of monovalent and divalent ions and the effect on reverse electrodialysis
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© 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.
Membranes, 2023, 13(3), 322
Salinity gradient energy
Salinity gradient energy has gained attention in recent years as a renewable energy source, especially employing reverse electrodialysis technology (RED), which is based on the role of ion exchange membranes. In this context, many efforts have been developed by researchers from all over the world to advance the knowledge of this green source of energy. However, the influence of divalent ions on the performance of the technology has not been deeply studied. Basically, divalent ions are responsible for an increased membrane resistance and, therefore, for a decrease in voltage. This work focuses on the estimation of the resistance of the RED membrane working with water flows containing divalent ions, both theoretically by combining the one-thread model with the Donnan exclusion theory for the gel phase, as well as the experimental evaluation with Fumatech membranes FAS-50, FKS-50, FAS-PET-75, and FKS-PET-75. Furthermore, simulated results have been compared to data recently reported with different membranes. Besides, the influence of membrane resistance on the overall performance of reverse electrodialysis technology is evaluated to understand the impact of divalent ions in energy generation. Results reflect a minor effect of sulfate on the gross power in comparison to the effect of calcium and magnesium ions. Thus, this work takes a step forward in the knowledge of reverse electrodialysis technology and the extraction of salinity gradient energy by advancing the influence of divalent ions on energy recovery.
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