Theoretical and experimental investigations of the potential of osmotic energy for power production

Adel O. Sharif, Ali A. Merdaw, Maryam Aryafar, Peter Nicoll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a study on the potential of osmotic energy for power production. The study includes both pilot plant testing and theoretical modelling as well as cost estimation. A projected cost of £30/MWh of clean electricity could be achieved by using a Hydro-Osmotic Power (HOP) plant if a suitable membrane is used and the osmotic potential difference between the two solutions is greater than 25 bar; a condition that can be readily found in many sites around the world. Results have shown that the membrane system accounts for 50%-80% of the HOP plant cost depending on the salinity difference level. Thus, further development in membrane technology and identifying suitable membranes would have a significant impact on the feasibility of the process and the route to market. As the membrane permeability determines the HOP process feasibility, this paper also describes the effect of the interaction between the fluid and the membrane on the system permeability. It has been shown that both the fluid physical properties as well as the membrane micro-structural parameters need to be considered if further development of the HOP process is to be achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-468
Number of pages22
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2014


  • Forward osmosis
  • Hydro-osmotic power (HOP)
  • Osmotic energy
  • Pressure retarded osmosis
  • Specific energy consumption (SEC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)

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