Researchers will locate sites for production of blue energy
Naser Tavajohi at the Department of Chemistry at Umeå University, together with researchers at Lund University, receives SEK 5 million from the Swedish Energy Agency to locate places in Sweden with potential for salinity gradient power, so-called blue energy.
Text: Ingrid Söderbergh
Naser Tavajohi, assistant professor at the Department of Chemistry at Umeå University.
The concept of blue energy, salinity gradient power, is a renewable alternative energy source that is quite unknown to many people. Blue energy is the energy released from the mixture of salt water from the sea with fresh water from a river.
Salinity gradient power is completely clean, environmentally friendly and can be used continuously 24 hours per day and 365 days a year The extractable potential in the world is around 2 TW, which corresponds to the energy from 2,000 nuclear reactors.
Blue energy is one of the largest but least explored energy sources in Sweden. Reverse electrodialysis is an advanced salt extraction technology used on a large scale in several countries, including Italy and the Netherlands.
In this two-year project, the researchers will locate places with great potential for blue energy production in Sweden.
“We will also extract salinity gradient power from natural and artificial resources on a laboratory scale, adapt the reverse electrodialysis system based on Swedish water resources and assess the potential of blue energy as an alternative renewable energy source to produce 50 kW energy, says lead applicant Naser Tavajohi, research assistant at the Department of Chemistry at Umeå University.
Blue energy has great potential as an alternative source in the future. The places where blue power plants can be installed are the areas where rivers flow into the sea.
Blue energy is produced by positive sodium ions migrating from a salt water vessel through a membrane to a fresh water vessel, while the membrane holds back the negative chlorine ions. The result is a voltage difference between the two vessels, which can be utilized by providing them with electrodes.