Journal article

Energy recovery through reverse electrodialysis: Harnessing the salinity gradient from the flushing of human urine.

Federico Volpin, Yun Chul Woo, Hanki Kim, Stefano Freguia, Namjo Jeong, June-Seok Choi, Jaeweon Cho, Sherub Phuntsho, Ho Kyong Shon

Water Research | Elsevier | Published : 2020


Urine dilution is often performed to avoid clogging or scaling of pipes, which occurs due to urine's Ca2+ and Mg2+ precipitating at the alkaline conditions created by ureolysis. The large salinity gradient between urine and flushing water is, theoretically, a source of potential energy which is currently unexploited. As such, this work explored the use of a compact reverse electrodialysis (RED) system to convert the chemical potential energy of urine dilution into electric energy. Urine' composition and ureolysis state as well as solution pumping costs were all taken into account. Despite having almost double its electric conductivity, real hydrolysed urine obtained net energy recoveries ENe..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Australian Research Council

Awarded by National Research Foundation of Korea

Awarded by Korean Government (MSIP)