Highly enhanced energy conversion from the streaming current by polymer addition

Trieu Nguyen, Yanbo Xie, Lennart de Vreede, Albert van den Berg, Jan C.T. Eijkel

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    71 Citations (Scopus)
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    In this contribution, we present for the first time the experimental results of energy conversion from the streaming current when a polymer is added to the working solution. We added polyacrylic acid (PAA) in concentrations of 200 ppm to 4000 ppm to a KCl solution. By introducing PAA, the input power, which is the product of volumetric flow rate and the applied pressure, reduced rapidly as compared to the case of using only a normal viscous electrolyte KCl solution. The output power at the same time remained largely constant, whereby an increase of the streaming current and a decrease of the streaming potential simultaneously occurred. These combined factors led to the massive increase of the energy conversion efficiency. Particularly, the results showed that when PAA was in a 0.01 mM KCl solution, the energy conversion efficiency of the system was enhanced by a factor of 447 (¡2%), as compared to the case of the solution containing only 0.01 mM KCl. An enhancement factor of 249 (¡4%) was also observed when PAA was added to the higher ionic strength background solution, 1 mM KCl. This finding can have practical use in microchannel-array energy conversion systems. When, instead of the negatively charged PAA, a non-ionic polymer polyethylene oxide (PEO) was added to the solution, no efficiency increase was observed, probably due to polymer wall adsorption.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3210-3216
    Number of pages7
    JournalLab on a chip
    Issue number16
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • METIS-297036
    • IR-86820


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