Hybrid membrane distillation reverse electrodialysis configuration for water and energy recovery from human urine: an opportunity for off-grid decentralised sanitation

E. Mercer, C. J. Davey, D. Azzini, A. L. Eusebi, R. Tierney, L. Williams, Y. Jiang, A. Parker, A. Kolios, S. Tyrrel, E. Cartmell, M. Pidou, E. J. McAdam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The integration of membrane distillation with reverse electrodialysis has been investigated as a sustainable sanitation solution to provide clean water and electrical power from urine and waste heat. Reverse electrodialysis was integrated to provide the partial remixing of the concentrate (urine) and diluate (permeate) produced from the membrane distillation of urine. Broadly comparable power densities to those of a model salt solution (sodium chloride) were determined during evaluation of the individual and combined contribution of the various monovalent and multivalent inorganic and organic salt constituents in urine. Power densities were improved through raising feed-side temperature and increasing concentration in the concentrate, without observation of limiting behaviour imposed by non-ideal salt and water transport. A further unique contribution of this application is the limited volume of salt concentrate available, which demanded brine recycling to maximise energy recovery analogous to a battery, operating in a ‘state of charge’. During recycle, around 47% of the Gibbs free energy was recoverable with up to 80% of the energy extractable before the concentration difference between the two solutions was halfway towards equilibrium which implies that energy recovery can be optimised with limited effect on permeate quality. This study has provided the first successful demonstration of an integrated MD-RED system for energy recovery from a limited resource, and evidences that the recovered power is sufficient to operate a range of low current fluid pumping technologies that could help deliver off-grid sanitation and clean water recovery at single household scale.

LanguageEnglish
Pages343-352
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Volume584
Early online date6 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2019

Fingerprint

water reclamation
sanitation
electrodialysis
Sanitation
Electrodialysis
Distillation
urine
distillation
Salts
recovery
grids
Urine
membranes
salts
Membranes
Recovery
Water
configurations
radiant flux density
waste heat

Keywords

  • closed-loop
  • recycle
  • reverse electrodialysis (RED)
  • salinity gradient energy

Cite this

Mercer, E. ; Davey, C. J. ; Azzini, D. ; Eusebi, A. L. ; Tierney, R. ; Williams, L. ; Jiang, Y. ; Parker, A. ; Kolios, A. ; Tyrrel, S. ; Cartmell, E. ; Pidou, M. ; McAdam, E. J. / Hybrid membrane distillation reverse electrodialysis configuration for water and energy recovery from human urine : an opportunity for off-grid decentralised sanitation. In: Journal of Membrane Science. 2019 ; Vol. 584. pp. 343-352.
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Mercer, E, Davey, CJ, Azzini, D, Eusebi, AL, Tierney, R, Williams, L, Jiang, Y, Parker, A, Kolios, A, Tyrrel, S, Cartmell, E, Pidou, M & McAdam, EJ 2019, 'Hybrid membrane distillation reverse electrodialysis configuration for water and energy recovery from human urine: an opportunity for off-grid decentralised sanitation' Journal of Membrane Science, vol. 584, pp. 343-352. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.memsci.2019.05.010

Hybrid membrane distillation reverse electrodialysis configuration for water and energy recovery from human urine : an opportunity for off-grid decentralised sanitation. / Mercer, E.; Davey, C. J.; Azzini, D.; Eusebi, A. L.; Tierney, R.; Williams, L.; Jiang, Y.; Parker, A.; Kolios, A.; Tyrrel, S.; Cartmell, E.; Pidou, M.; McAdam, E. J.

In: Journal of Membrane Science, Vol. 584, 15.08.2019, p. 343-352.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Hybrid membrane distillation reverse electrodialysis configuration for water and energy recovery from human urine

T2 - Journal of Membrane Science

AU - Mercer, E.

AU - Davey, C. J.

AU - Azzini, D.

AU - Eusebi, A. L.

AU - Tierney, R.

AU - Williams, L.

AU - Jiang, Y.

AU - Parker, A.

AU - Kolios, A.

AU - Tyrrel, S.

AU - Cartmell, E.

AU - Pidou, M.

AU - McAdam, E. J.

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