Ion-exchange membranes for blue energy generation: A short overview focused on nanocomposite

Review paper


  • Jin Gi Hong Department of Civil Engineering and Construction Engineering Management, California State University, Long Beach, CA, 90840, United States
  • Tae-Won Park Department of Earth Science Education, Chonnam National University, Gwangju, South Korea



Salinity gradient energy, electrochemical properties, membrane fabrication, reverse electrodialysis
Graphical Abstract


Blue energy can be harvested from salinity gradients between saline water and freshwater by reverse electrodialysis (RED). RED as a conversion technique to generate blue energy has received increasing attention in recent decades. As part of the RED system, ion exchange membranes (IEMs) are key elements to the success of future blue energy generation. However, its suboptimal performance often limits the applications and stagnates the deve­lopment of the technology. The key properties of IEMs include ion exchange capacity, perm­selectivity, and electrical resistance. The enhancement of such physical and electrochemical properties is crucial for studying energy production with acceptable output efficiency on a commercial scale. Recently, many studies have tried blending nanotechnology into the membrane fabrication process. Hybridizing inorganic nanomaterials with an organic polymeric material showed the great potential of improving electrical conductivity and perm­selectivity, as well as other membrane characteristics for power performance. In this short review, recent developments on the IEM synthesis in association with potential nanomaterials are reviewed and raising issues regarding the application and commercialization of RED-based energy production are discussed.


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31-07-2022 — Updated on 31-07-2022

How to Cite

Hong, J. G., & Park, T.-W. (2022). Ion-exchange membranes for blue energy generation: A short overview focused on nanocomposite: Review paper. Journal of Electrochemical Science and Engineering, 13(2), 333–345.



Electrochemical Engineering

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