Applications of capacitive deionization: Desalination, softening, selective removal, and energy efficiency

Jongmoon Choi, Pema Dorji, Ho Kyong Shon, Seungkwan Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

186 Citations (Scopus)


Capacitive deionization (CDI) has attracted a great attention as a promising desalination technology, and studies on CDI have increased significantly in the last ten years. However, there have been no guidelines for developing strategies involving CDI technology for specific applications. Therefore, our work presents a critical review of the recent advances in CDI to meet the technical requirements of various applicable areas, with an emphasis on hybrid systems. This paper first summarizes the major developments made on novel electrode materials for CDI for brackish water desalination. Then, CDI and reverse osmosis (RO) integrated systems are critically reviewed for both ultrapure water production and wastewater treatment. Additionally, the applicability of CDI on various industrial processes is discussed, covering two distinct topics: (1) water softening and (2) selective removal of valuable heavy metals and nutrients (nitrate/phosphate). Lastly, recent improvements on the energy efficiency of CDI processes are delineated, specifically focusing on energy recovery and hybridization with energy producing technology, such as reverse electrodialysis (RED) and microbial fuel cells (MFC). This review paper is expected to share the practical experience of CDI applications as well as to provide guidelines for electrode material development for each specific application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-130
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 1


  • Capacitive deionization
  • Energy efficiency
  • Heavy metal removal
  • Hybrid system
  • Nitrate and phosphate removal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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