Energy Recovery from Saline Water by Means of Electrochemical Cells

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Science  12 Nov 1976:
Vol. 194, Issue 4266, pp. 719-720
DOI: 10.1126/science.194.4266.719


An electrochemical concentration cell is proposed as a means of extracting the energy released from the mixing of freshwater with seawater. In order to obtain the maximum power from such a cell, a small amount of seawater must be added to the freshwater prior to its introduction into the cell in order to lower the internal resistance of the cell. The work available from the electrochemical concentration cell is of the same order of magnitude as the work derived from the use of an osmotic pump to extract energy from seawater. Both of these saline water techniques should be considered when unconventional, long-range power sources are evaluated.