Continuous desalination with a metal-free redox-mediator

Jian Wang, Qi Zhang, Fuming Chen, Xianhua Hou, Zhilie Tang, Yumeng Shi, Peng Liang, Denis Y.W. Yu, Qinyu He, Lain-Jong Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Deionization using electrochemical redox reactions has potentially been the latest desalination technique with high salt removal capacity and lower energy cost due to high capacity of electrode materials and electrochemical energy release. Herein, we presented a metal-free continuous electrodialysis desalination technology, which could directly desalt feed water at high concentrations to drinking water level during continuous treatment with unlimited salt removal capacity. The device consists of a recirculating 4-hydroxy-2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine 1-oxyl (TEMPO) stream between the flowing positive and negative electrodes in series and the salt feed stream. During the charging process, the flowing TEMPO was oxidized at the positive reservoir, where the anion in the feed was captured through the anion exchange membrane, whereas the TEMPO recovery at the negative reservoir drove the cation removal in the feed through the cation exchange membrane by its reduction. Due to the redox reaction of TEMPO between the cyclical flow electrode streams, it acts as a
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13941-13947
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Issue number23
StatePublished - 2019


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