Nano Bugle

A window into applied science supported by INL

Nanotechnology to desalinate water

Representation of capacitive deionization process. Image obtained from Proingesa website

Representation of capacitive deionization process. Image obtained from Proingesa website

Nowadays there are different techniques to desalinate water but they all require a high-energy consumption and significant investments in the construction of desalination plants.

Reverse osmosis is the best desalination technique existing today. The two main limitations of this technique include the need to maintain high pressure and the use of membranes for processing.

The company Proingesa and foundations IMDEA Energía and IMDEA Agua will carry out a research project to develop a device for low cost capacitive deionization. This device is nanomaterials based, the type developed for latest generation of electrochemical capacitors.

Early studies of capacitive deionization were 40 years ago, indicating that this technique could be a viable option to desalinate water cheaply. So far, the big problem of this technique was the lack of suitable materials.

Capacitive deionization process, shown in the figure, consists of two stages of deionization and regeneration. The first applies an external electrical load on the two electrodes submerged in water to treat. This causes the moving of the ions dissolved in the water toward the opposite electrode, and its absorption. At the stage of regeneration, power supply to the electrodes interrupts, being released ions retained. In this process, if an external electrical circuit connects to the electrodes, it generates an electric current similar to the way during the discharge of a capacitor.

Maybe, thanks to the development of appropriate nanomaterials, low cost desalination of water will be possible in the near future and will minimize the problems associated to drinkable water shortages.


February 23, 2009 - Posted by | Nano News


  1. […] Read the original here: Nanotechnology to desalinate water « Nano Bugle […]

    Pingback by Nanotechnology to desalinate water « Nano Bugle | Nano Broadcast | February 23, 2009 | Reply

  2. Dear All.

    It was a great video added by the Team members, and would help to understand the process and applications of the same.

    Comment by Dilip Shukla | March 10, 2009 | Reply

  3. This is quite a up-to-date info. I think I’ll share it on Digg.

    Comment by Heartburn Home Remedy | April 15, 2009 | Reply

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