Nanostructured Carbon Based Capacitive Desalination

EPA Contract Number: EPD17039
Title: Nanostructured Carbon Based Capacitive Desalination
Investigators: Agarwal, Sandip
Small Business: Vuronyx Technologies
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 2017 through February 28, 2018
Project Amount: $100,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2017) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , SBIR - Water


Capacitive deionization (CDI) is a robust, energy efficient, and cost effective technology for water desalination. In collaboration with Dr. Satish Kumar and Dr. Costas Tsouris at Georgia Tech, we are developing nanostructured carbon material for effective and economical water and wastewater desalination. Our new approach for CDI is enabled by (1) synthesis of nanostructured high surface area activated carbon, (2) conventional-binder free electrodes made from high surface area carbon, and (3) improved design for CDI. We use polymers to synthesize six membered ring structures, like in graphene. However, in contrast to graphene, these six membered pieces do not stack on each other. As such, BET surface area of our nanostructured carbon is ~3500 m2/g [graphene surface area is 2630 m2/g and commercial activated carbon (YP-50F) is ~1700 m2/g]. Also, instead of conventional binder for electrode making (conventional binder decreases the specific capacitance), we use carbon nanotubes, which increase the electrodes electrical conductivity and further enhance the performance of desalination process. With these innovations, CDI will be a game changer in water desalination. It will help in increasing potable water security in small communities, and provide the shale gas and mining industry an effective and economical solution for water treatment.

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report