Fernanda Helfer

Surfers Paradise, Queensland

Engineer, clean energy researcher

Pressure-Retarded Osmosis (PRO) is a technique used to harness the energy released when waters with different salinities mix. Fernanda, a Research Fellow at the Griffith School of Engineering, believes Australia has enormous potential to use PRO to capture the energy from the mixing of brine – the reject water from desalination plants – and seawater. Australia’s desalination plants produce a great quantity of brine that could be used to generate power. Fernanda is using her AMP Tomorrow Fund grant to build a lab-scale PRO mixing device to determine the amount of power generated using brine: “My intention is to help save costs involved in the desalination process as well as reduce the industry’s reliance on fossil fuel energy.”