Influence of operating conditions on the desalination performance of a symmetric pre-conditioned Ti3C2Tx-MXene membrane capacitive deionization system

Lutfi Agartan, Kanit Hantanasirisakul, Samantha Buczek, Bilen Akuzum, Khaled A. Mahmoud, Babak Anasori, Yury Gogotsi, E. Caglan Kumbur

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Introduction of new nanomaterials with conductivity, salt adsorption capacity (SAC) and rate (SAR) exceeding that of carbon electrodes may greatly improve capacitive deionization of water. However, those materials show a different electrochemical behavior, which must be studied and optimized for practical use. Here, effects of operating conditions on desalination performance of pre-conditioned Ti3C2Tx-MXene-based electrodes in a symmetric membrane capacitive deionization (MCDI) system were investigated. Specifically, influences of discharge potential, half-cycle length (HCL), and flow rate were systematically studied. Results showed different degrees of performance dependence on operating conditions. For instance, lower discharge potentials increased SAC and SAR by 152%. However, longer HCL increased SAC by 32% while decreasing SAR by 54%. Finally, faster flow rates decreased both SAC and SAR by 20%. Desalination performances of symmetric pre-conditioned MXene and activated carbon cloth (ACC) electrodes were gravimetrically and volumetrically compared in MCDI system. Pre-conditioned MXene electrodes gravimetrically performed 30% lower than ACC due to their notably higher density. Yet, pre-conditioned MXene electrodes volumetrically outperformed ACC by 162%. Results suggest that although MXenes offer high electrochemical activity and hydrophilicity, making them promising candidates for CDI applications, the strong dependence of desalination performance of MXenes on operating conditions requires in-depth understanding and warrants further research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114267
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020



  • Ion intercalation
  • Membrane capacitive deionization
  • MXene
  • Salt adsorption rate
  • Water desalination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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