Electric Power from Differences in Salinity: The Dialytic Battery

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Science  13 Feb 1976:
Vol. 191, Issue 4227, pp. 557-559
DOI: 10.1126/science.191.4227.557


An array of alternating anion and cation exchange membranes can be used to generate electric power from the free energy of mixing of river and sea waters. A simple mathematical model, which predicts experimental results well, is useful in exploring conditions for optimization of the process. Major, but not impossible, improvements in technology would be required to bring the cost of power from the dialytic battery into line with foreseeable energy prices.