Unveiling the role of membrane properties in water and salt transport and performance of a concentration gradient battery

Hanyang Xu, Yanhui Sun, Ryan S. Kingsbury, Orlando Coronell, Fei Liu, Yang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The concentration gradient battery (CGB) has numerous advantages, such as zero pollution emissions and the use of non-toxic electrolytes, making it a promising candidate for integrating renewable energy into the power grid. The use of high-performance membranes is a necessary condition for the application of CGB, but the specific membrane characteristics that contribute to desired CGB performance have not been clearly defined. In this study, five commercial membranes were employed to investigate the relationship among membrane permeation of water and salt, stack resistance, and battery performance. The results highlighted the pivotal roles of membrane permeability and resistivity in determining the CGB performance. Among the membrane tested, Selemion, notable for its low permeability and resistivity, was found to effectively break the trade-off between current and voltage efficiency. This superior performance is attributed to its distinctive membrane properties of low water volume fraction and high fixed charge density. This study further suggested that strategies aimed at controlling membrane swelling and increasing fixed charge density hold great promise in enhancing the membrane performance in CGB application. This research provides insights into membrane selection and customization for CGB and serves as a reference for other membrane processes focused on energy conversion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number117599
StatePublished - Jul 20 2024
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


  • (reverse) electrodialysis
  • Concentration gradient battery
  • Ion exchange membrane
  • Membrane properties
  • Salt transport
  • Water transport


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