Standard Article

Reverse Electrodialysis

Membrane Processes

  1. Odne S. Burheim1,
  2. Jon G. Pharoah2,
  3. David Vermaas3,
  4. Bruno B. Sales4,
  5. Kitty Nijmeijer5,
  6. Hubertus V. M. Hamelers6

Published Online: 27 SEP 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118522318.emst085

Encyclopedia of Membrane Science and Technology

Encyclopedia of Membrane Science and Technology

How to Cite

Burheim, O. S., Pharoah, J. G., Vermaas, D., Sales, B. B., Nijmeijer, K. and Hamelers, H. V. M. 2013. Reverse Electrodialysis. Encyclopedia of Membrane Science and Technology. 1–20.

Author Information

  1. 1

    HiST – Sør-Trøndelag University College, Trondheim, Norway

  2. 2

    Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

  3. 3

    University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands

  4. 4

    Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands

  5. 5

    University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands

  6. 6

    Wetsus – Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Water Technology, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 27 SEP 2013


Reverse Electrodialysis (RED) is an electrochemical membrane process that utilizes the free energy of mixing two solutions of different composition. The most commonly envisioned application is the mixing of seawater and river water at river deltas around the world. RED for mixing seawater and river water thus constitutes a renewable source for electric power production close to many urban regions. The worldwide potential is estimated to hold an average output in the order of as much as 2 TW.

In this article, we have summarized the most important developments for RED since it was first discovered in 1954. RED represents a highly interdisciplinary research field and does not include membrane development alone. Challenges related to fluid mechanics, electrochemistry of electrodes, and traditional chemical engineering also constitute substantial parts of the research area for RED development. All these topics are discussed in this article.


  • RED, reverse electrodialysis;
  • salinity gradient energy technology;
  • salt Power;
  • blue energy