We propose a novel osmotic soft valve consisting of an osmosis membrane and hydrogel films. In our osmotic valve system, material selectivity is determined by the osmosis membrane, and the hydrogel film, which deforms depending on the ion concentration of the surrounding solution, controls the passage area of the membrane. Independently controlling the material selectivity and permeability allowed us to design an osmotic soft valve with an osmotic flow rate that increases with osmotic pressure at low pressures but decreases with osmotic pressure at high pressures. We demonstrate a representative application of our hydrogel valve system in a portable power generator utilizing reverse electrodialysis (RED). As the permeability varied with concentration, the hydrogel valve was able to maintain the electric power of the RED for 30 min with only an ∼10% change. Our study provides techniques to build osmotic soft valves that can serve as gating membranes in various osmosis and dialysis systems.
|Journal||ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|
- Flow control
- Osmotic valve
- Soft actuator