Against the background of the escalating water crisis globally, providing low-cost and high-efficiency solutions in desalination will be a surefire way to enhance water recovery and help resolve the issue. Capacitive de-ionization (CDI) is one of the innovative and electrochemically controlled methods that can be utilized for the removal of salt from aqueous solutions. This is done by absorbing ions in the electrical double layer region at the electrode-solution interface. The new technology innovation involved in producing CDI electrodes includes a graphite coating with the help of mesoporous activated carbons and ion monomers along with the spacer staked above the electrodes.
The new innovative CDI electrodes are developed with eco-friendly materials, making the technology sustainable. The sustainability is maintained as no hazardous chemicals or salts are used in the process. The CDI device purifies and softens water by removing the dissolved ions from the water. The innovation also decreases the possibility of membrane fouling, which is an issue that detracts from the performance of conventional Reverse Osmosis (RO) and Ion Exchange Resin technologies. Reduced fouling enabled by CDI technology provides higher energy efficiency and lower operational expenditure compared to conventional technologies. Moreover, operation of products based on this technology is easier as no secondary hazardous pollutants are created and labor costs can also be minimized.
The potential applications include the utilization of CDI technology in desalination, water purification, and water softening processes. The high pure water recovery rate also enables the technology to be used in a wide range of applications, including tertiary water treatment as the fresh water recovery rate based on CDI technology can go up to 90%. CDI technology is also more economically feasible compared to reverse osmosis owing to lower energy consumption. The system is easy to operate, facilitating its use in various end applications that require fresh water.
Future opportunities include the use of CDI technologies in household electrical appliances, including washing machines and water purifiers. More opportunities will also be explored as the products based on this CDI technology can also be used as water softeners which can be deployed in a range of drinking water-related products.
Customer benefits include the reduction of hardness in water by removing excess calcium and magnesium ions. This enables the provision of more purified water, decreases scaling and clogging of pipes, maintains water infrastructure, and saves energy. Softening of water extends the longevity of household electric appliances and eliminates damage caused by hard water.