IIT Madras Innovates to Generate Power from Estuaries

“Osmotic power generation is, as the name proposes, based on the osmotic pressure that is produced when a semipermeable membrane separates saltwater from freshwater. This pressure can be transformed into electricity,” Nandigana said

August 16, 2019. By News Bureau

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Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras has announced that its researchers are working on 'osmotic power' which is the energy accessible from the variance in the salt concentration between seawater and river water. Professor Vishal Nandigana and his team of researchers at the IIT Madras Laboratory are working on this alternative source of energy, also known as ‘blue energy.’

“Osmotic power generation is, as name proposes, based on the osmotic pressure that is produced when a semipermeable membrane separates salt water from fresh water. This pressure can be transformed into electricity,” Nandigana said. “The benefit of osmotic power generation is that estuaries in which sea water and the fresh water rivers meet can be used to generate power.”

The IIT Madras team is trying to first produce membranes in the scale of square centimeters rather than square micrometers that are presently possible, with future plans to increase size further. This is based on the calculation that a single membrane, roughly 1 square meter wide would generate enough power to light up 50,000 energy-saving light bulbs, the institute shared in a release.

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