New Route to Membraneless Reversible Desalination Batteries

by | Mar 21, 2019

Desalination technology by ferrocyanide ion-immobilized polysilsesquioxane films.

The desalination battery is an emerging concept used in electrochemical technology for solving the problems of sea water desalination.

In this process, the ions are removed (desalination) from sea water by applying current to the battery electrodes, where ions are intercalated into the bulk electrodes, and the intercalated ions are removed from the electrodes (salination) by draining the current from battery.

However, identifying an efficient Cl storage electrode is a major challenge for the development of sea water desalination batteries.

Illustration of working principle of a desalination battery.

Dr. James Joseph and his research team from the Central Electrochemical Research Institute in Karaikudi, India, have worked on a new type of membraneless and reversible desalination battery.

Their research work highlights the possibility of removing ions from sea water by operating at low voltages and gaining high voltage output during the salination process, by simple interchange of the electrode.

Their design concept consists of an efficient, stable, reversible, high capacity chloride storage electrode; ferrocyanide ion-immobilized polysilsesquioxane (redox-PSQ) in combination with a cation storage material.

The redox-PSQ polymer was found to be superior to other reported chloride storage electrodes in terms of cost, durability, reversibility, and chloride ion removal capacity in real time applications.

Experimental results showed that their redox polymer film was capable of withstanding a real sea water environment without loss of its electrochemical activity.

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