High-Performance Capacitive Deionization Disinfection of Water with Graphene Oxide-graft-Quaternized Chitosan Nanohybrid Electrode Coating

Yilei Wang, A.G. El-Deen, Peng Li*, B.H.L. Oh, Zanru Guo, Mya Mya Khin, Y.S. Vikhe, Jing Wang, R.G. Hu, R.M. Boom, K.A. Kline, D.L. Becker, Hongwei Duan, M.B. Chan-Park

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


Water disinfection materials should ideally be broad-spectrum-active, nonleachable, and noncontaminating to the liquid needing sterilization. Herein, we demonstrate a high-performance capacitive deionization disinfection (CDID) electrode made by coating an activated carbon (AC) electrode with cationic nanohybrids of graphene oxide-graft-quaternized chitosan (GO-QC). Our GO-QC/AC CDID electrode can achieve at least 99.9999% killing (i.e., 6 log reduction) of Escherichia coli in water flowing continuously through the CDID cell. Without the GO-QC coating, the AC electrode alone cannot kill the bacteria and adsorbs a much smaller fraction (4 CFU mL-1 bacteria), the GO-QC/AC electrodes can kill 99.99% of the E. coli in water for 5 h. The disinfecting GO-QC is securely attached on the AC electrode surface, so that it is noncontaminating to water, unlike many other chemicals used today. The GO-QC nanohybrids have excellent intrinsic antimicrobial properties in suspension form. Further, the GO component contributes toward the needed surface conductivity of the CDID electrode. This CDID process offers an economical method toward ultrafast, contaminant-free, and continuous killing of bacteria in biocontaminated water. The proposed strategy introduces a green in situ disinfectant approach for water purification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10142-10157
JournalACS Nano
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2015



  • antimicrobial
  • capacitive deionization
  • cationic
  • contact-active
  • graphene oxide
  • quaternary chitosan
  • water disinfection

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