The practical application of pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) technology for renewable blue energy (i.e., osmotic power generation) from salinity gradient is being hindered by the absence of effective membranes. Compared to flat-sheet membranes, membranes with a hollow fiber configuration are of great interest due to their high packing density and spacer-free module fabrication. However, the development of PRO hollow fiber membranes is still in its infancy. This study aims to open up new perspectives and design strategies to molecularly construct highly robust thin film composite (TFC) PRO hollow fiber membranes with high power densities. The newly developed TFC PRO membranes consist of a selective polyamide skin formed on the lumen side of well-constructed Matrimid hollow fiber supports via interfacial polymerization. For the first time, laboratory PRO power generation tests demonstrate that the newly developed PRO hollow fiber membranes can withstand trans-membrane pressures up to 16 bar and exhibit a peak power density as high as 14 W/m2 using seawater brine (1.0 M NaCl) as the draw solution and deionized water as the feed. We believe that the developed TFC PRO hollow fiber membranes have great potential for osmotic power harvesting.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry