Smart nanocomposite membranes: harnessing clean water and clean energy from Alberta’s oil sands

Developing innovative technologies to achieve water-energy sustainability is a top priority challenge of the nearest future. We propose a novel renewable energy source, which provides simultaneous production of clean water and electrical energy from wastewater by utilizing a naturally occurring osmotic process. Our objective is to develop emerging and cost-efficient Pressure Retarded Osmosis (PRO) process, equipped with our smart PRO membranes, to provide excellent water and energy recovery from Alberta’s Oil Sands. This will be done by incorporating stimuli-responsive nanomaterials into the host membrane matrix. Our PRO process, apart from water reclamation function, provides high power density to harness electrical energy from wastewater.