An Adsorption Reverse Electrodialysis system for the generation of electricity from low-grade heat

Christopher Olkis, Giulio Santori, Stefano Brandani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

A novel process is presented to generate electricity from low-grade heat by combining a Reverse Electrodialysis membrane with an Adsorption desalinator in a closed-loop system. A Reverse Electrodialysis membrane generates electricity by controlled mixing of two salt solutions of different concentrations. An Adsorption desalinator restores the initial salt gradient by utilising low-grade heat for the separation. In this study the process is designed from optimising the salt and material selection to the development of the real system application. Energy and exergy efficiencies of the proposed system show the potential of this novel renewable energy technology. The efficiencies of 227 salts with a range of different valences and 10 adsorption materials have been investigated over a large number of system parameters. The results show that the optimised system can achieve an exergetic efficiency of up to 30 %. Moreover, high salt concentrations do not significantly increase the specific energy consumption of the Adsorption desalinator, which allows operating the Reverse Electrodialysis membrane at the optimal salt concentrations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-234
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Energy
Early online date20 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Low grade heat
  • Heat to Power
  • Adsorption
  • Salinitiy gradients
  • Closed loop
  • Reverse Electrodialysis


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