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(156b) Potable Water Production Via Microchannel Capacitive Desalination Technology (CDT) System Architecture

Loeb, C., Oregon State University
Jovanovic, G. N., Oregon State University

As clean water availability diminishes throughout the world, an inexpensive, reliable, and scalable system is required to produce potable water from the world’s vast supply of seawater.  Taking advantage of the short diffusion lengths inherent in microchannel architectures, the research team at Oregon State University and MTEK Energy Solution Inc. is developing a parallel flow-through system capable of removing and segregating ionic species from concentrated salt water. 

The application of a voltage potential to high surface area electrodes quickly removes ions from the salt-water feed to the electrode surface, allowing clean water to exit the CDT system while ions remain immobile.  Segregated side channels quickly and efficiently elute concentrated brine solution during periods of unapplied electrical potential.  Clean water production will be achieved through a series arrangement of CDT cells.

Validated computer simulations have provided the necessary insight to dramatically improve system design, operating conditions, and fluid flow relative to our demonstration prototype.  The microchannel CDT system utilizes common materials of construction and fabrication processes available at the Microproducts Breakthrough Institute (MBI) in Corvallis, Oregon to quickly modify for enhanced performance.  Increased throughput of seawater is readily achieved by ‘numbering-up’ parallel microchannel CDT architectures to match water production requirements.  The CDT system allows for tremendous end-user customization that makes the CDT system the optimal alternative for any required process metrics, space limitations, and location.