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Water Purification as an Appliance on Solar Microgrids

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Christopher Chidsey, Chemistry; and Juan Santiago, Mechanical Engineering

Solar photovoltaic microgrids enable small entrepreneurs in remote areas to expand their businesses by progressively adding productive electric appliances and additional photovoltaic panels as their businesses grow. Professors Chidsey and Santiago propose to design and build a low-cost, robust, and solar-energy-compatible water-purification appliance that would enable inexpensive storage of a beneficial product of solar electricity: drinkable water. The appliance will integrate two novel technologies for purification and desalination. The first is a new type of axial-flow-through electrochlorination device to chlorinate and disinfect the water. The second is a novel flow-through capacitive deionization device that electrostatically traps salt and ionic toxins. Their proposed water purification system has potential to be the ideal starting application for a new ecosystem of solar-powered appliances.

Publications and Media

"Tailored porous electrode resistance for controlling electrolyte depletion and improving charging response in electrochemical systems" Journal of Power Sources 397 (2018): 252-261

"Adsorption and capacitive regeneration of nitrate using inverted capacitive deionization with surfactant functionalized carbon electrodes" Separation and Purification Technology 194 (2018): 410-415.

"Equilibria model for pH variations and ion adsorption in capacitive deionization electrodes" Water Research 122 (2017): 387-397.

"Energy breakdown in capacative deionizationWater Research 104 (2016): 303-311.

"Energy consumption analysis of constant voltage and constant current operations in capacitive deionization" Desalination 400 (2016): 18-24.

Awarded 2015