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High-performance ion removal via zinc–air desalination

  • Electrochemical processes enable a new generation of energy-efficient desalination technologies. While ion electrosorption via capacitive deionization is only suitable for brackish water with low molar strength, the use of Faradaic materials capable of reversible ion intercalation or conversion reactions allows energy-efficient removal of ions from seawater. However, the limited charge transfer/storage capacity of Faradaic materials indicates an upper limit for their desalination applications. Therefore, a new electrochemical concept must be explored to exceed the current state-of-the-art results and to push the desalination capacity beyond 100–200 mgNaCl/gelectrode. In this proof-of-concept work, we introduce the new concept of using metal–air battery technology for desalination. We do so by presenting performance data for zinc–air desalination (ZAD) in 600 mM NaCl. The ZAD cell provides a desalination capacity of 0.9–1.0 mgNaCl/cm2 (normalized to the membrane area; corresponding to 1300 mgNaCl/gZn) with a charge efficiency of 70% when charging/discharging the cell at 1 mA/cm2. The energy consumption of ZAD is 68–92 kJ/mol.

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Document Type:Article
Author:Pattarachai SrimukORCiD, Lei WangORCiD, Öznil BudakORCiD, Volker PresserORCiD
Parent Title (English):Electrochemistry Communications
First Page:106713
Year of first Publication:2020
Release Date:2022/11/18
Tag:capacitive deionization; oxygen evolution reaction; oxygen reduction reaction; water desalination; zinc-air battery
Impact:04.724 (2020)
Funding Information:China Scholarship Council (201906260277) Chinese Scholarship Council (CSC) via award number 201906260277; electroMOXene project (PR-1173/9) by the German Research Foundation (DFG, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft).
Open Access:Open Access
Signature:INM 2020/040
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International