Enhanced osmotic energy harvesting in bullet-shaped nanochannels

Gregorio Laucirica, Alberto Albesa, Waldemar Marmisollé, Omar Azzaroni

INIFTA / National University of La Plata - CONICET

Abstract: Nanofluidic reverse electrodialysis systems based on track-etched nanochannels are promising devices for new eco-friendly ways of sustainable energy generation. In this work, we present an experimental study – complemented with Poisson–Nernst–Planck simulations – that describes how the shape of the nanochannels strongly affects the energy conversion performance of single bullet-shaped nanochannels created on PET foils by the ion-track-etching method. To test optimal parameters for energy conversion and selectivity, the performance was investigated by varying the channel effective diameter as well as the pH and the electrolyte gradient. With a maximum output power of 80 pW, this system reveals the best value reported for a bare single track-etched nanochannel. Therefore, this work experimentally demonstrates that it is possible to obtain high power output by means of a careful choice of channel geometry and etching conditions, in addition to other experimental parameters such as pH and electrolyte gradient.

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