Nitrate removal and recovery by capacitive deionization (CDI)

Olga Pastushok, Feiping Zhao, Deepika L. Ramasamy, Mika Sillanpää

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Citations (Scopus)


Capacitive deionization (CDI), an emerging technology, has attracted attention recently and has been applied for various purposes. Herein, we investigated the application of a CDI system using activated carbon (AC) electrodes for nitrate removal and recovery in the scope of domestic wastewater treatment. The electrochemical behavior and structural parameters of AC electrodes were investigated as a part of this work. CDI electrodes were fabricated from microporous activated carbon, and the specific surface area of the electrode material was 210 m2/g. The negative effect of polymeric binder on the AC electrodes performance was observed as well. The specific capacitance of the fabricated AC electrodes at 40 mV/s scan rate was 0.5 F/g and 19 F/g for 1 and 1000 mM electrolyte (NH4NO3), respectively. The CDI performance was examined as a function of flow rate (2, 4, 9, 14 mL/min), applied voltage (0.6, 0.8, 1.0, 1.2 V), and initial nitrate concentration (10, 25, 50, 70 mg/L) in single-pass (SP) mode. Regeneration performance and recovery efficiency of the CDI cell were observed during 5 subsequent operational cycles. The recovery efficiency of nitrate ions from low salinity water was 21%, while the electrosorption capacity of 5.5 mg/g and removal efficiency of 48% was achieved. Presence of the competitive ions in the tested solution resulted in a slight decrease (~10%) of nitrate removal efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121943
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Activated carbon
  • Capacitive deionization
  • Nitrate recovery
  • Nitrate removal
  • Porous carbon electrode

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Nitrate removal and recovery by capacitive deionization (CDI)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this