High salt capacity and high removal rate capacitive deionization enabled by hierarchical porous carbons

Turki N. Baroud, Emmanuel P. Giannelis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Capacitive deionization, CDI, has emerged as an attractive alternative for water desalination. Electrodes based on Hierarchically porous carbons, HPCs, consistently show promising electrosorption performance. However, the typically low mesopore fraction and broad pore size distribution limit their utilization in practical applications. Here we report the CDI performance of a series of HPCs synthesized via ice templation possessing a high fraction of mesopore volume (85–93% of total porosity) and tight control over the amount and the size of mesopores (∼6 nm). Electrochemical measurements indicate high rate capability (82% salt retention) and outstanding cycling stability performance (100% capacitance retention over 600 cycles at 0.76 A g−1). In the CDI experiments, the HPCs display high salt capacity (up to ∼ 13 mg g−1) and consistently outperform other high surface areas commercial carbons. The existence of high fraction of mesoporosities enables better utilization of the accessible surfaces of HPCs where the introduction of micropores leads to more than 80% increase in the salt capacity. The HPCs reported here can serve as model electrode systems in studies to delineate the impact of mesoporosity (pore size and volume) on CDI performance and they may pave the way for practical CDI applications.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)614-625
Number of pages12
StatePublished - May 30 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUS-C1-018-02
Acknowledgements: This work is supported by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), KAUST baseline fund (KUS-C1-018-02). This work made use of the Cornell Center for Materials Research Shared Facilities supported through the NSF MRSEC program (DMR-1120296). The authors would like to thank Dr. K. Spyrou for his help with the XPS analysis and discussion. The authors would also like to thank Dr. A. Enotiadis for useful discussions regarding Raman spectra. Additionally, the authors would like to thank Dr. R. Sahore for useful discussions regarding the electrode fabrication. Turki Baroud would like to thank King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (Scholarship number: DS/2095), Dhahran, Saudi Arabia for a Ph.D. scholarship and their support.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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