Diffusio-osmotic mixing for blue energy optimization

Global constraint on energy is growing due to the urging necessity to switch to decarbonated energy production. The years 2021 and 2022 also reminded us how crucial it is to ensure energetic sovereignty, and hence to find alternatives to fossil energies. The so-called blue energy, by harvesting energy from salt gradients, typically where fresh-water rivers enter the salty ocean, has the potential to be the long sought-after new source of energy. It is indeed possible to generate spontaneous ionic flows through nanoporous membranes and collect this electrical energy. There are however several orders of magnitude of difference between the collected energy and the theoretical expectations. The phenomenon responsible for this loss could be hindered by triggering chaotic surface flows along the membranes to efficiently transport the ions. The goal of this project is to use the salt gradient to trigger these flows along the surfaces.

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