Two different perspectives on capacitive deionization process : performance optimization and flow visualization
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In this thesis, two different experimental approaches to capacitive deionization (CDI) process are presented. In the first approach, transient system characteristics were analyzed to find three different operating points, first based on minimum outlet concentration, second based on maximum average adsorption rate and third based on maximum adsorption efficiency. These three operating points were compared in long term desalination tests. In addition, the effects of inlet stream salinity and CDI system size have been characterized to assess the feasibility of a commercial CDI system operating at brackish water salinity levels. In the second approach, the physical phenomena occurring inside a capacitive deionization system were studied by laser-induced fluorescence visualization of a “pseudo-porous” CDI microstructure. A model CDI cell was fabricated on a silicon-on-insulator (SOI) substrate and charged fluorophores were used to visualize the simultaneous electro migration of oppositely charged ions and to obtain in situ concentration measurements.