Aramid Nanofiber Membranes for Energy Harvesting from Proton Gradients
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Energy can be harvested from industrial wastewater with high efficiency by using membranes made up of nanofibres of the polymer aramid.
A gradient in ion concentration between two liquids can be used to generate energy. The most studied example is the salinity gradient between fresh and salt water, but wastewater produced by industrial processes contains a high concentration of ions and could thus be a source of energy. The challenge has been to find membranes that have high ionic conductances while being sufficiently robust.
Now, five researchers from Deakin University in Australia and a collaborator have shown that membranes made from aramid nanofibres can harvest energy from ion gradients with high efficiency while being able to withstand high temperatures and corrosive environments.
They found that at 70 degrees Celsius — a typical temperature for industrial wastewater — aramid-nanofibre membranes outperformed current state-of-the-art membranes by about a factor of ten, making them suitable for scalable energy harvesting from industrial wastewater.
- Advanced Functional Materials 32, 2102080 (2022). doi: 10.1002/adfm.202102080
|Deakin University, Australia||0.75|
|University of Michigan (U-M), United States of America (USA)||0.17|
|Anhui Agricultural University (AAU), China||0.08|