Reducing pumping energy by using different flow rates of high and low concentration solutions in reverse electrodialysis cells

Xiuping Zhu, Weihua He, Bruce E. Logan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations


Energy use for pumping affects both net energy recovery and operational costs of reverse electrodialysis (RED) systems. In order to reduce the energy needed for pumping, electrical performance and hydrodynamic power losses in a RED stack were investigated by simultaneously (2-140. mL/min) or independently varying the flow rates of the high concentration (HC, 35. g/L NaCl) and low concentration (LC, 0.35. g/L NaCl) solutions. Power was not consistently reduced at lower flow rates due to trade-offs between increases in diffusion boundary layer resistance and decreases in solution resistance of the LC channels. The maximum net power output (~0.04. W) was obtained with both LC and HC flow rates at ~20. mL/min. Separately varying the flow rates of the HC and LC solutions indicated that the optimum flow rate of the HC solution (10. mL/min) was much lower than that of the LC solution (20. mL/min) due to the more substantial impact of the LC channel on power production. The use of these two optimized flow rates minimized hydrodynamic power losses (pumping energy) while producing comparable power to that achieved with the two higher flow rates (50. mL/min of both HC and LC solutions).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-221
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
StatePublished - Jul 5 2015


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation

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