Resin-enhanced rolling activated carbon electrode for efficient capacitive deionization

Nan Li, Jingkun An, Xin Wang, Heming Wang, Lu Lu, Zhiyong Jason Ren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Capacitive deionization (CDI) has emerged as an efficient process for low-salinity desalination, but electrode materials remain a major bottleneck. This study presents new hybrid CDI electrodes that for the first time directly incorporate ion exchange resins into activated carbon electrodes via a rolling press method. These thin and integrated electrodes showed superior performance over traditional membrane-electrode assemblies. When used in 2.0 g/L NaCl solution they increased desalination efficiency by 29–35% and 70–76% compared with activated carbon electrodes and carbon cloth electrode, respectively. The difference further increased to 41–47% and 121–131% when a lower concentration of 0.5 g/L NaCl was used. The resin-embedded carbon electrodes showed an electrosorption capacity of 12.7 and 18.3 mg NaCl/g electrode in 0.5 and 2.0 g/L NaCl solution, respectively. The charge efficiency ranged from 85–87%, and energy consumption was reduced by 25%. The high performance of the resin-enhanced activated carbon electrodes in CDI is attributed to pre-concentration of target ions and blockage of co-ions especially in low salinity conditions. This approach holds a good potential for CDI development, and further studies are needed for corrosion inhibition and capacity improvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-28
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


  • Activated carbon
  • Capacitive deionization
  • Electrosorption
  • Ion exchange resin
  • Rolling press


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