Fouling is standing in the way of better energy efficiency in reverse electrodialysis (RED). A team of blue energy scientists have successfully shown that even though a pre-treatment with only a dual media filter reduces the performance of RED due to fouling build-up, with a sequence of simple and quick cleaning steps, 90% of the performance loss could be recovered. Another advantage of the dual media filter is that it prevents biofouling formation. With their two-month long test, the scientists give a convincing argument for a cost-effective pretreatment for blue energy generation.

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Vital, Bárbara, Tom Sleutels, M. Cristina Gagliano, and Hubertus V. M. Hamelers. 2023. “Reversible Fouling by Particulate Matter from Natural Seawater Reduces RED Performance While Limiting Biofouling.” Desalination 548 (116262): 116262.