The Effect of Feed Solution Temperature on the Power Output Performance of a Pilot-Scale Reverse Electrodialysis (RED) System with Different Intermediate Distance

Membranes (Basel). 2019 Jun 18;9(6):73. doi: 10.3390/membranes9060073.


Membrane-based reverse electrodialysis (RED) can convert the salinity gradient energy between two solutions into electric power without any environmental impact. Regarding the practical application of the RED process using natural seawater and river water, the RED performance depends on the climate (temperature). In this study, we have evaluated the effect of the feed solution temperature on the resulting RED performance using two types of pilot-scale RED stacks consisting of 200 cell pairs having a total effective membrane area of 40 m2 with different intermediate distances (200 µm and 600 µm). The temperature dependence of the resistance of the solution compartment and membrane, open circuit voltage (OCV), maximum gross power output, pumping energy, and subsequent net power output of the system was individually evaluated. Increasing the temperature shows a positive influence on all the factors studied, and interesting linear relationships were obtained in all the cases, which allowed us to provide simple empirical equations to predict the resulting performance. Furthermore, the temperature dependence was strongly affected by the experimental conditions, such as the flow rate and type of stack, especially in the case of the pilot-scale stack.

Keywords: ion exchange membrane (IEM); pilot-scale; reverse electrodialysis (RED); salinity gradient energy (SGE).