Application of Electromembrane System: Reverse Electrodialysis with Bipolar Membranes as an Energy Storage System

Research Associate: M.Sc. Jiabing Xia


The essential idea is to utilize neutralization reaction of Hydrogen chloride (HCl) and Sodium hydroxide (NaOH) to generate electricity, and this study, as sponsored by GREES Program under guidance of Prof. Nieken, is trying to find a new unique way to achieve a more cost-competitive energy storage systems (EES).

Traditional Electro Dialysis Bipolar Membrane (EDBP) is using neutral salt and electricity to produce acids and bases inside Bipolar Membrane (BP) interface, water-splitting without gases formation makes EDBP attractive for energy efficient acid/base production. As during this process, electricity has been transformed into chemical energy, theoretically a reverse process is possible to harvest electricity. Therefore a system, called Reverse Electro Dialysis Bipolar Membrane (REDBP), has been designed to meet this requirement. In summary, like a battery, EDBP can be considered as a charging process while REDBP a recharging process.


As an EES the following aspects of REDBP must be investigated:

  1. The mechanism of neutralization reaction as power source at BP interface.
  2. Self Discharge Current, which considered as on of the main power losses.
  3. Internal Resistance, which mainly limits the efficiency of REDBP as EES.
  4. Power Efficiency, as defined as the amount of power discharged by the battery divided by the amount of power delivered to the battery.

In order to characterize REDBP as EEs, these above challenges form the basic task of this project.

Current Achievements

  1. Model has been constructed.
  2. Single Cell test facility has been constructed and single cell experiments have been conducted.

Future Work

  1. Model needs to be improved by non-neutrylity condition.
  2. Test facility needs to be reconstructed to suit stack experiments.
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