Role of ion exchange membranes and capacitive electrodes in membrane capacitive deionization (MCDI) for CO2 capture

L. Legrand, Q. Shu, M. Tedesco, J.E. Dykstra*, H.V.M. Hamelers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Recently we showed that membrane capacitive deionization (MCDI) can be used to capture CO2, but we found that the performance decreases with decreasing current density. In the present study, we investigate the effect of electrodes and ion exchange membranes by performing experiments with two membranes (CO2-MCDI), with one membrane (cation or anion exchange membrane), and without membranes (CO2-CDI). We find that the anion exchange membrane is essential to keep high CO2 absorption efficiencies (Λa=nCO2(g)/ncharge), while the absorption efficiency of the CO2-CDI cell was lower than expected (Λa≈0.5 for CO2-MCDI against Λa≈0.18 for CO2-CDI). Moreover, we theoretically investigate ion adsorption mechanisms in the electrodes by comparing experimental data of a CO2-CDI cell with theoretical results of the classic amphoteric-Donnan model developed for conventional CDI. By comparing the experimental results with the amph-D model, we find that the model overestimates the absorption efficiency in CO2-CDI experiments. To understand this discrepancy, we investigate the effects of other phenomena, i.e., (i) low ion concentration, (ii) passive CO2 absorption, and (iii) the effect of acid-base reactions on the chemical surface charge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)478-490
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2020


  • Carbon electrodes
  • Donnan model
  • Electrochemical carbon capture
  • MCDI

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