Research Papers: Energy Systems Analysis

Performance Characterization of a Capacitive Deionization Water Desalination System With an Intermediate Solution and Low Salinity Water

[+] Author and Article Information
Yasamin Salamat

Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department,
Northeastern University,
334 Snell Engineering Center,
360 Huntington Avenue,
Boston, MA 02115
e-mail: s.salamat@neu.edu

Carlos A. Rios Perez

Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department,
Northeastern University,
334 Snell Engineering Center,
360 Huntington Avenue,
Boston, MA 02115
e-mail: c.riosperez@neu.edu

Carlos Hidrovo

Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department,
Northeastern University,
207 Snell Engineering Center,
360 Huntington Avenue,
Boston, MA 02115
e-mail: hidrovo@neu.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received December 18, 2015; final manuscript received December 23, 2015; published online January 18, 2016. Editor: Hameed Metghalchi.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 138(3), 032003 (Jan 18, 2016) (5 pages) Paper No: JERT-15-1480; doi: 10.1115/1.4032427 History: Received December 18, 2015; Revised December 23, 2015

In recent years, more efforts have been made to improve new and more efficient nonmembrane-based methods for water desalination. Capacitive deionization (CDI), a novel technique for water desalination using an electric field to adsorb ions from a solution to a high-porous media, has the capability to recover a fraction of the energy consumed for the desalination during the regeneration process, which happens to be its most prominent characteristic among other desalination methods. This paper introduces a new desalination method that aims at improving the performance of traditional CDI systems. The proposed process consists of an array of CDI cells connected in series with buffer containers in between them. Each buffer serves two purposes: (1) averaging the outlet solution from the preceding cell and (2) securing a continuous water supply to the following cell. Initial evaluation of the proposed CDI system architecture was made by comparing a two-cell-one-buffer assembly with a two cascaded cells array. Concentration of the intermediate solution buffer was the minimum averaged concentration attained at the outlet of the first CDI cell, under a steady-state condition. The obtained results show that the proposed CDI system with intermediate solution had better performance in terms of desalination percentage. This publication opens new opportunities to improve the performance of CDI systems and implement this technology on industrial applications.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Schematic of desalination (top) and regeneration (bottom) processes in a sample CDI system. By employing a voltage difference between the porous electrodes, positive and negative ions are adsorbed at their counter-charged electrodes. After the electrodes' saturation, regeneration takes place by short circuiting the electrodes.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

The experiment setup for two CDI systems. The buffered system (left): A steady desalination test was performed with a single CDI cell. Afterward, the minimum average outlet concentration of that test was used as the inlet concentration of another desalination test with one CDI cell. The cascaded system (right): Two CDI cells cascaded with no intermediate solution buffer.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Normalized concentration for the first and second cells in the buffered desalination system, normalized with the inlet concentration of the first cell (top) and normalized concentration for the two-cell cascaded system (bottom)



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