Blue Refrigeration: Electrochemical Separations for Water Deionization

[+] Author and Article Information
Marta Hatzell

Assistant Professor, George W. Woodruff, School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332

Kelsey Hatzell

Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4037907 History: Received June 18, 2017; Revised September 11, 2017


There is a growing interest in minimizing the energy and cost associated with desalination. To do this, various new desalination systems and approaches are being explored. One growing area of interest revolves around electrochemical separations for deionization. Electrochemical separations primarily consists of technologies which either intercalate or electroadorb species of interest from a bulk mixture. This can be conducted through polarizing a battery electrode, or more commonly a capacitive electrode. One example is the technology capacitive deionization (CDI). CDI is being investigated as a means to augment the current state of the art, and as a stand alone brackish water treatment technology. Despite the potential of this technology, there is still much that is not known regarding the energetics and efficiency of both the desalination and brine formation process. Here, blue refrigeration is a term used to broadly describe desalination cycles and processes. The analogy aims to compare the energetics associated with a desalination cycle to the energetics well studied in thermal refrigeration cycles. This perspective aims to evaluate some of the emerging energetic issues associated with CDI, and how new system architectures may play a role in achieving more ideal energy and desalination performance.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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