Existing technologies for hard, brackish and sea water desalination are highly energy consuming even in the case of the best available technology nowadays, Reverse Osmosis. In addition to this problem, the construction of desalination plants requires intensive capital expenditures.
Capacitive Deionization is a technological alternative to Reverse Osmosis provided it is a non-membrane and low-pressure process, which are possibly the two main drawbacks of the Reverse Osmosis technology. The Capacitive Deionization concept is schematically represented in the Figure.
During the deionization cycle, an external electrical charge is applied on a pair of electrodes introduced in the feed water, this makes the ions dissolved in the water to migrate towards the electrode of opposite charge, where they are adsorbed. In the regeneration cycle, the electrical load of the electrodes is switched off, therefore adsorbed ions are released. If an electrical circuit is connected at this stage, an electrical current will be produced, just like in the discharge of a capacitor.
Early studies almost 40 years ago showed that Capacitive Deionization could be a feasible technology for low-cost water desalination, but by that time appropriate materials were not available yet. However, nowadays with the most recent advances in electrochemical capacitors, there are improved electrodes with performances good enough to bring the Capacitive Deionization systems from research laboratories to real life applications.
With this aim the company PROINGESA and the foundations IMDEA Energy and IMDEA Water have launched a research project to design a low-cost Capacitive Deionization device based on nanomaterials that have been developed for last generation electrochemical capacitors. This project is funded by the Spanish Ministry of Industry Tourism and Commerce with the Strategic Action on Energy and Climate Change of the National Plan of Research, Development and Innovation.
IMDEA | alfa
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University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
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Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
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Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
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