Capacitive deionization technique (CDI) represents an interesting alternative to compete with reverse osmosis by reducing energy consumption. It is based on creating an electric field between two electrodes to retain the salt ions on the electrode surface by electrostatic attraction; thus the CDI cell operates as a supercapacitor storing energy during the desalination process. Most of the CDI research is oriented to improving the electrode materials in order to increase the effective surface and ionic retention. However, if the CDI overall efficiency is to be improved, it is necessary to optimize the CDI cell geometry and the charge/discharge current used during the deionization process. A DC/DC converter is required to transfer the stored energy from one cell to another with the maximum possible efficiency during energy recovery, thus allowing the desalination process to continue. A detailed description of energy losses and the DC/DC converter used to recover part of the energy involved in the CDI process will provide the hints to optimize the efficiency of the CDI technique for water desalination. The proposed chapter presents an electric model to characterize the power losses in CDI cells and the power converter required for the energy recovery process.
Part of the book: Desalination and Water Treatment