Dynamic Adsorption/Desorption Process Model of Capacitive Deionization

P.M. Biesheuvel, B. van Limpt, A. van der Wal

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142 Citations (Scopus)


In capacitive deionization (CDI), an electrical potential difference is applied across oppositely placed electrodes, resulting in the adsorption of ions from aqueous solution and a partially ion-depleted product stream. CDI is a dynamic process which operates in a sequential mode; i.e., after a certain ion adsorption capacity has been reached, the applied voltage is reduced, and ions are released back into solution, resulting in a solution concentrated in ions. The energetic input of CDI is very small, while there are no ion-exchange materials involved that need to be replaced regularly. Here we present a dynamic process model for CDI which includes the storage and release of ions in/from the polarization layers of the electrodes. The charge and ion adsorption capacity of the polarization layers is described using the equilibrium Gouy¿Chapman¿Stern (GCS) model, while the charge transfer rate from bulk solution into the polarization layer is modeled according to Ohm¿s law, i.e., depends solely on an electric field term across a mass-transfer layer. An important element in the model is the differential charge efficiency: the effective salt removal rate relative to the electronic current, for which an analytical expression is derived based on the GCS model. We present results for the effluent salt concentration and electron current, both as function of time, based on a process model that assumes ideal mixing in the CDI unit cell. The theoretical results are in very good agreement with an example data set.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5636-5640
JournalThe Journal of Physical Chemistry Part C: Nanomaterials and Interfaces
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • carbon aerogel electrodes
  • electrical double-layer
  • aqueous-solution
  • desalination
  • water
  • electrosorption

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