Deployable membrane-based energy technologies: The ethiopian prospect

Abreham Tesfaye Besha*, Misgina Tilahun Tsehaye, Girum Ayalneh Tiruye, Abaynesh Yihdego Gebreyohannes, Aymere Awoke, Ramato Ashu Tufa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewpeer-review

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Membrane-based energy technologies are presently gaining huge interest due to the fundamental engineering and potentially broad range of applications, with economic advantages over some of the competing technologies. Herein, we assess the potential deployability of the existing and emerging membrane-based energy technologies (MEnT) in Ethiopia. First, the status of the current energy technologies is provided along with the active energy and environmental policies to shape the necessary research strategies for technology planning and implementation. Ethiopia is a landlocked country, which limits the effective extraction of energy, for instance, from seawater using alternative, clean technologies such as reverse electrodialysis and pressure retarded osmosis. However, there exists an excess off-grid solar power (up to 5 MW) and wind which can be used to drive water electrolyzers for hydrogen production. Hydrogen is a versatile energy carrier that, for instance, can be used in fuel cells providing zero-emission solutions for transport and mobility. Although Ethiopia is not among the largest CO2 emitters, with more than 90% energy supply obtained from waste and biomass, the economic and industrial growth still calls for alternative CO2 capture and use technologies, which are highlighted in this work. We believe that the present work provides i) the status and potential for the implementation of MEnT in Ethiopia ii) and basic guidance for researchers exploring new energy pathways toward sustainable development in developing countries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8792
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number21
Number of pages34
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • CO2 capture and use
  • Electrolyzers
  • Fuel cells
  • Ion-exchange membranes
  • Salinity gradient power


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