Come join the MIT Water Club for a lunch time lecture from Sui Zhang, who will be presenting on "Theoretical and Experimental Study on the Chemo-Mechanical Coupling in Hydrogels for Salinity Gradient Energy Extraction." Free lunch will be provided!
Salinity gradients between seawater and river water offer great potential for renewable energy production. The global salinity gradient energy is estimated to be 1.4-2.7 TW, which is comparable to the worldwide hydropower capacity (~1 TW). One route to achieve energy production from salty waters is by mechanical stress. Hydrogels are a group of materials that absorb water to different extents depending on salt concentration or mechanical stress. Hydrogels may offer other advantages such as less fouling and ease of cleaning. In this work, we explore the potential of hydrogels for energy production by thermodynamic analysis and experimental demonstration.