MIT engineers found that there is strong potential to harness energy from where the river meets the sea with an emerging method of power generation called Pressure Retarded Osmosis (PRO). This process involves the mixing of two streams of water—river water and seawater. The PRO system should take in each type of water on either side of a semi-permeable membrane and through the process of osmosis, recover power.
Students are taking strides to determine the optimal dimensions, efficiency, and performance for the PRO system. Through their efforts, they were able to estimate the maximum amount of power produced given the mixture of the two bodies of water.
While there is still research to be conducted, there are high hopes for this system and its power, including potentially powering a coastal wastewater-treatment plant.
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