Enhanced desalination performance of capacitive deionization using zirconium oxide nanoparticles-doped graphene oxide as a novel and effective electrode

Ahmed S. Yasin, Hend Omar Mohamed, Ibrahim M.A. Mohamed, Hamouda M. Mousa, Nasser A.M. Barakat*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Due to its eco-friendly and low energy technique for removing salt ions from saline water, capacitive deionization (CDI) is highly recommended as a desalination process. Based on its good features, large surface area and good electric conductivity, graphene oxide is a promising electrode in the CDI technology if the specific capacitance could be enhanced. In this study, to improve the electrochemical performances, novel ZrO2 nanoparticles-incorporated graphene oxide nanosheets with different concentrations were successfully synthesized by hydrothermal treatment, their electrosorption characteristics in CDI unit were examined. The morphology, structure and electrochemical performance of the fabricated materials were investigated by scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), cyclic voltammetry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The capacitive and electrosorption performances in NaCl solution were studied. Moreover, the role of ZrO2 loading was investigated. The introduced ZrO2-doped graphene oxide showed a distinct improvement in the electrosorption capacity and revealed higher specific capacitance compared to the pristine graphene oxide. The obtained results indicated that the synthesized ZrO2-doped graphene oxide nanocomposite having 10 wt.% ZrO2 displayed a significant increase in the specific capacitance as the corresponding value (452.06 F/g) was nine folds more than that of the pristine GO at 10 mV/s. Moreover, the same electrode exhibits great cycling stability, excellent salt removal efficiency (93.03%), and distinct electrosorptive capacity (4.55 mg/g). Overall, the proposed GO/ZrO2 nanoparticle composite electrode is appropriate for utilizing as optimum electrodes for the CDI technique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-43
Number of pages10
JournalSeparation and Purification Technology
StatePublished - Oct 17 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This Research was financially supported by National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grant funded by the Korean Government (MOE) (No. 2014R1A1A2058967 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V.


  • Capacitive deionization
  • Graphene oxide/ZrO nanocomposite
  • Water desalination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


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