Evaluating Battery-like Reactions to Harvest Energy from Salinity Differences using Ammonium Bicarbonate Salt Solutions

Taeyoung Kim, Mohammad Rahimi, Bruce E. Logan, Christopher A. Gorski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


Mixing entropy batteries (MEBs) are a new approach to generate electricity from salinity differences between two aqueous solutions. To date, MEBs have only been prepared from solutions containing chloride salts, owing to their relevance in natural salinity gradients created from seawater and freshwater. We hypothesized that MEBs could capture energy using ammonium bicarbonate (AmB), a thermolytic salt that can be used to convert waste heat into salinity gradients. We examined six battery electrode materials. Several of the electrodes were unstable in AmB solutions or failed to produce expected voltages. Of the electrode materials tested, a cell containing a manganese oxide electrode and a metallic lead electrode produced the highest power density (6.3 mW m-2). However, this power density is still low relative to previously reported NaCl-based MEBs and heat recovery systems. This proof-of-concept study demonstrated that MEBs could indeed be used to generate electricity from AmB salinity gradients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)981-988
Number of pages8
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 10 2016


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Energy(all)

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