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“Blue Energy”: Modelling/experimental research, the winning combination

“Blue Energy”: Modelling/experimental research, the winning combination

A collaboration between theorist and experimental researchers from the RS2E was awarded an international prize. Thanks to simulations and experiments, they achieved a main breakthrough in “blue energy” exploitation.

Works from RS2E scientists, mixing molecular simulations and experiments, were awarded the “HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Award” prize in the “Best Use of HPC [ed. High Performance Computing] in Energy” category.

The RS2E research team, led by Benjamin Rotenberg, knew how to use modelling to show the advantages of new carbon materials for more efficient production of osmotic energy, also called “blue energy”.

“Blue energy” is the energy we could obtain – and store – exploiting the salinity difference between seawater (salty one) and river water (pure one), in the estuaries where the two of them mix.

The team scientists come from PHENIX lab (Sorbonne University / CNRS) and CIRIMAT (University de Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier / CNRS). They worked with the “Maison de la Simulation”.

Collaboration with the supercalculators

The “HPCwire” prize awards the smart use of modelling to advance science. In this project, two powerful supercalculators did the simulations that need a lot of time: Curie at GENCI (7.8 million of calculus hours) and MareNostrum at BSC (22.1 million hours) thanks to a PRACE European allowance.

We always act to ensure our primary mission: to give to the French and European research modelling efficient tools. It puts regional research at the top of the world”, explains Philippe Lavocat, GENCI CEO.

Without this French-European collaboration, the breakthrough from Benjamin Rotenberg team would have been harder to make.

The “Maison de la Simulation”, PRACE, BSC and GENCI received the prize in Dallas, November 13th.

Reference :

Blue Energy and Desalination with Nanoporous Carbon Electrodes: Capacitance from Molecular Simulations to Continuous Models. Michele Simoncelli, Nidhal Ganfoud, Assane Sene, Matthieu Haefele, Barbara Daffos, Pierre-Louis Taberna, Mathieu Salanne, Patrice Simon, and Benjamin Rotenberg. Physical Review X, le 27 avril 2018.

https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevX.8.021024