"Breakthrough" osmosis and unusually high power densities in Pressure-Retarded Osmosis in non-ideally semi-permeable supported membranes
Rights accessOpen Access
European Commission's projectRED-Heat-to-Power - Conversion of Low Grade Heat to Power through closed loop Reverse Electro-Dialysis (EC-H2020-640667)
Osmosis is the movement of solvent across a membrane induced by a solute-concentration gradient. It is very important for cell biology. Recently, it has started finding technological applications in the emerging processes of Forward Osmosis and Pressure-Retarded Osmosis. They use ultrathin and dense membranes supported mechanically by much thicker porous layers. Until now, these processes have been modelled by assuming the membrane to be ideally-semipermeable. We show theoretically that allowing for even minor deviations from ideal semipermeability to solvent can give rise to a previously overlooked mode of “breakthrough” osmosis. Here the rate of osmosis is very large (compared to the conventional mode) and practically unaffected by the so-called Internal Concentration Polarization. In Pressure-Retarded Osmosis, the power densities can easily exceed the conventional mode by one order of magnitude. Much more robust support layers can be used, which is an important technical advantage (reduced membrane damage) in Pressure-Retarded Osmosis.
CitationYaroshchuk, A. "Breakthrough" osmosis and unusually high power densities in Pressure-Retarded Osmosis in non-ideally semi-permeable supported membranes. "Scientific reports", 23 Març 2017, vol. 7, núm. 45178.