College of Engineering and Polymer Science

Date of Last Revision

2023-05-05 05:57:24


Chemical Engineering

Honors Course

4200 497-001 (70516)

Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2022


This study’s purpose is to further document a capacitive deionization design that could be capable of purifying H2O at a household scale where clean water is otherwise unobtainable in applicable regions of the world. The hypothesis behind this study was continuously larger scaled electrochemical cell-units would increase their water softening capabilities in sustainable fashion. The trend at which performance will scale is currently unknown. The units studied were constructed using graphite plates, anion exchange membranes, cation exchange membranes, and Teflon channels. Three streams, two being CaCl2 solutions in DI H2O (one being concentrated with CaCl2 and the other purified of it) and one being an iron/sodium electrolyte, were fed through the unit via peristaltic pumps. Observations were recorded using a conductivity probe and voltammetry equipment. In this study, a 4-cell and a 5-cell unit were observed. When a voltage of 1 V/cell was applied to the 4-cell unit, conductivity of the softened stream dropped by 60 μS/cm. Raising voltage to 2 V/cell, conductivity dropped by 98 μS/cm. The 5-cell unit showed conductivity drops of 120 μS/cm and 269 μS/cm when 1 V/cell and 2 V/cell were applied, respectively. Studies are recommended to continue with larger units to work towards household-scale.

Research Sponsor

Dr. Zhenmeng Peng

First Reader

Dr. Donald Visco

Second Reader

Dr. Roya Gitiafroz

Honors Faculty Advisor

Dr. Bi-min Zhang Newby



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