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Comment PDF Water Treatment

Graphene improves the performance of water deionization

By Paul Grad |

A research team from the University of South Australia (Adelaide; www.unisa.edu.au) and the East China Normal University (Shanghai; www.ecnu.edu.cn) has developed a capacitive deionization technology (CDI) that uses graphene-like nanoflakes as electrodes, instead of conventionally used activated carbon (AC) materials. The team claims that the graphene-based electrodes offer better performance than conventional CDI systems that use AC electrodes. In CDI, water flows between pairs of electrodes held at a potential difference of 1–2 V. The negative electrode attracts and holds positively charged ions such as calcium, magnesium and sodium, while the positively charged electrode attracts and holds negative ions such as chloride, nitrate and silica. When the electrodes become saturated, the applied potential is removed, and the ions are released and flushed out. For each gallon of brackish water fed to the process, more than 80% emerges as fresh, deionized potable water. Compared to alternative desalination methods, CDI does not generate secondary pollution, and is cost-effective and energy efficient because it aims to remove only the salt ions, which are a small percentage of the feed solution. “Although having a larger surface…
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