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Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 205; doi:10.3390/mi7110205

Power Generation by Reverse Electrodialysis in a Microfluidic Device with a Nafion Ion-Selective Membrane

Department of Engineering Science, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 70101, Taiwan
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Xiangchun Xuan and Shizhi Qian
Received: 18 September 2016 / Revised: 3 November 2016 / Accepted: 4 November 2016 / Published: 10 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano-Chip Electrokinetics)
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Abstract

An energy conversion microchip consisting of two circular microchambers and a Nafion-filled microchannel is fabricated using standard micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) techniques. When the chambers are filled with KCl solutions with different concentrations, the Nafion microchannel acts as a cation-selective membrane and results in the generation of electrical power through a reverse electrodialysis (RED) process. The current-potential characteristics of the Nafion membrane are investigated for devices with various microchannel lengths and electrolyte concentration ratios. It is shown that for a given voltage, the current and generated power increase with a reducing channel length due to a lower resistance. In addition, a maximum power density of 755 mW/m2 is obtained given an electrolyte concentration ratio of 2000:1 (unit is mM). The optimal device efficiency is found to be 36% given a channel length of 1 mm and a concentration ratio of 1000:1 (mM). Finally, no enhancement of the short circuit current is observed at higher concentration ratios. View Full-Text
Keywords: reverse electrodialysis; salinity gradient power; Gibbs free energy; Nafion membrane; energy conversion reverse electrodialysis; salinity gradient power; Gibbs free energy; Nafion membrane; energy conversion
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Tsai, T.-C.; Liu, C.-W.; Yang, R.-J. Power Generation by Reverse Electrodialysis in a Microfluidic Device with a Nafion Ion-Selective Membrane. Micromachines 2016, 7, 205.

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