The removal of heavy metals from water is significantly improved by an improved capacitive deionization system

Heavy metals can be removed from water more effectively with new technology
Scientists and engineers are looking for ways to filter unwanted metals and mineral out of water, while still retaining these elements so they can be reused elsewhere.

The Capacitive Deionization (CDI) technology, which uses a membrane of electrode materials to remove metal ions from the water, is a promising method for next-generation filters. Researchers at the University of Chicago and Argonne envisioned that the technique could be even more effective if the molecular surfaces of the electrodes were modified.

Three researchers studied the best ways to alter surfaces with support from University of Chicago’s Joint Task Force Initiative. Junhong Chen, Crown Family Profesor of Molecular Engineering, Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, UChicago, and Lead Water Strategist, Argonne, worked with Maria Chan, senior physicist Chris Benmore, and two Argonne colleagues. Using machine learning and powerful X rays, the researchers developed a CDI that adsorbed much more lead than previously.