Towards the first proof of the concept of a Reverse ElectroDialysis – Membrane Distillation Heat Engine

Authors: M. Micari, A. Cipollina, F. Giacalone, G. Kosmadakis, M. Papapetrou, G. Zaragoza, G. Micale, A. Tamburini

Summary: The coupling of Reverse Electrodialysis with Membrane Distillation is a promising option for the conversion of waste heat into electricity. This study evaluates the performances of the integrated system under different operating conditions, employing validated model and correlations. This work provides a detailed description of the behaviour of a real RED-MD heat engine and indicates the set of inlet concentrations, velocities and equipment size which returns the highest cycle exergy efficiency. These operating conditions were selected for the pilot plant developed within the EU-funded project RED Heat to Power. For the first time, a perspective analysis was also included, considering highly performing RED membranes and future MD module. Relevant results indicate that technological improvements may lead to interesting system performance enhancement, up to an exergy efficiency of 16.5%, which is considerably higher than the values reported in literature so far.

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