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Issue 17, 2018
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A multiscale-pore ion exchange membrane for better energy efficiency

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Abstract

Ion exchange membranes (IEMs) have been adopted in various environmental, chemical, and energy applications. However, the formation of ion-depletion regions, caused by concentration polarization near IEMs, often leads to significant energy and efficiency loss. While much research has been devoted to solving this challenge, complete removal of ion-depletion regions is still difficult, especially when the membrane systems are operating under near- or over-limiting conditions. This paper proposes a novel multiscale-pore (MP) IEM to reduce the effect of the ion-depletion region, by allowing a fluid flow through the MP-IEM, thereby limiting the size (and the resulting resistance) of the ion-depletion region. The electrical resistance and energy consumption in MP and conventional IEM-embedded electrochemical systems were investigated, and their performance during water desalination processes were compared. The current–voltage response suggests a secondary ohmic regime attributed to an internal flow rate through the MP-IEM. Moreover, the electrochemical desalination of seawater with MP-IEMs demonstrated up to 75% reduction of energy consumption, compared with conventional IEMs under comparable operating conditions.

Graphical abstract: A multiscale-pore ion exchange membrane for better energy efficiency

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Publication details

The article was received on 01 Dec 2017, accepted on 22 Mar 2018 and first published on 22 Mar 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TA10570C
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018,6, 7714-7723
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
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    A multiscale-pore ion exchange membrane for better energy efficiency

    H. J. Kwon, B. Kim, G. Lim and J. Han, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, 6, 7714
    DOI: 10.1039/C7TA10570C

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