Low voltage operation of a silver/silver chloride battery with high desalination capacity in seawater†
Technologies for the effective and energy efficient removal of salt from saline media for advanced water remediation are in high demand. Capacitive deionization using carbon electrodes is limited to highly diluted salt water. Our work demonstrates the high desalination performance of the silver/silver chloride conversion reaction by a chloride ion rocking-chair desalination mechanism. Silver nanoparticles are used as positive electrodes while their chlorination into AgCl particles produces the negative electrode in such a combination that enables a very low cell voltage of only Δ200 mV. We used a chloride-ion desalination cell with two flow channels separated by a polymeric cation exchange membrane. The optimized electrode paring between Ag and AgCl achieves a low energy consumption of 2.5 kT per ion when performing treatment with highly saline feed (600 mM NaCl). The cell affords a stable desalination capacity of 115 mg g−1 at a charge efficiency of 98%. This performance aligns with a charge capacity of 110 mA h g−1.