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Ionophobicity of carbon sub-nanometer pores enables efficient desalination at high salinity

  • Summary Electrochemical seawater desalination has drawn significant attention as an energy-efficient technique to address the global issue of water remediation. Microporous carbons, that is, carbons with pore sizes smaller than 2 nm, are commonly used for capacitive deionization. However, micropores are ineffective for capacitive deionization at high molar strength because of their inability to permselectively uptake ions. In our work, we combine experimental work with molecular dynamics simulation and reveal the ability of sub-nanometer pores (ultramicropores) to effectively desalinate aqueous media at seawater-like molar strength. This is done without any ion-exchange membrane. The desalination capacity in 600 mM reaches 12 mg/g, with a charge efficiency of 94% and high cycling stability over 200 cycles (97% of charge efficiency retention). Using molecular dynamic simulations and providing experimental data, our work makes it possible both to understand and to calculate desalination capacity and charge efficiency at high molar strength as a function of pore size.

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Document Type:Article
Author:Yuan Zhang, Christian PrehalORCiD, Huili Jiang, Guang FengORCiD, Volker PresserORCiD
Parent Title (English):Cell reports physical Science
First Page:100689
Year of first Publication:2022
Release Date:2022/05/06
Tag:capacitive deionization; electrosorption; nanoporous carbon; water desalination
Impact:07.832 (2021)
Funding Information:Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) (491062302)
DDC classes:500 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 540 Chemie
Open Access:Open Access
Signature:INM 2022/001
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International