Capacitive deionization (CDI) is an emerging technology for the facile removal of charged ionic species from aqueous solutions, and is currently being widely explored for water desalination applications. The technology is based on ion electrosorption at the surface of a pair of electrically charged electrodes, commonly composed of highly porous carbon materials.
NANOPOL project aims at the development of novel electrochemical processes for water desalination and wastewater treatment applications using nanocomposite electrodes consisted of nanocarbon materials and conductive polymers (membrane-assisted capacitive deionization, mCDI). In this way the system’s performance can be improved (up to 50%) as compared to the common CDI.
Τhe main stages of the project concern the following:
- Development of novel nanocomposite electrodes and ion-exchange membranes using nanocarbon materials such as carbon nanotubes, graphene, activated carbon and conductive polymers. Methods to be applied for the improvement of the nanocarbon materials’ properties are the surface modification using different suitably selected functional groups, increase of the porosity and specific surface area of the nanocarbons and the control of the conductivity. Polymeric materials of interest are polypyrrole and polyaniline, as well as their modified nanostructures for compatibility enhancement
- Development of novel electrochemical-based processes using carbon-based nanocomposite electrodes and ion exchange membranes for water desalination, wastewater treatment as removal of heavy metals and selective demineralization.
- Simulation studies for process optimization.
- Demonstration of the developed technology and industrial exploitation
The system that will be developed within NANOPOL Project will be applied in a water desalination process. A modified system will be applied for the treatment of wastewaters from metallurgical processes that are enriched in heavy metals. The use of solar energy as a renewable energy source will be explored.