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Electrically regenerated ion-exchange technology: Leveraging faradaic reactions and assessing the effect of co-ion sorption


Capacitive deionization (CDI) technologies have the potential to become cost-competitive alternatives to reverse osmosis for the treatment of brackish waters. In this study, we report our findings on the effect of co-ion sorption and faradaic side reactions on our ion exchange resin functionalized desalination electrodes which passively capture salt and reject it upon charging. This system, which we previously reported on and refer to as electrically regenerated ion exchange (ERI), avoids the use of expensive ion exchange membranes in an effort to save costs. Surprisingly, we find that, compared to a reference CDI system, ERI electrodes capture salt most effectively at low applied voltages (0.5 mg/cm3 at 0.8 V). Both CDI and ERI systems also seem to suffer from co-ion sorption effects which negatively impact salt adsorption. However, Faradaic side reactions at higher voltages (1 V and 1.2 V) which we track via pH measurements, serve as a detriment to CDI but seem to facilitate the functionality of ERI.

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