[Lab on a chip] Integrated pretreatment and desalination by electrocoagulation (EC)–ion concentratio
Conventional water treatment process is composed of multiple stages, including desalination (salt removal) and pre/post-treatment of desalination to remove particles, chemicals, and other potential foulants for desalination. In this work, we developed a microfluidic proof-of-concept for a single device water treatment system, which removes both salt ions and non-salt contaminants. Our system combines electrocoagulation (EC), a versatile contaminant removal process, and ion concentration polarization (ICP) desalination, which is an electromembrane desalination process. We demonstrated a continuous EC–ICP operation that removed >95% of suspended solids and reduced the salinity from brackish range (20 mM NaCl) to a potable level (<8.6 mM NaCl). We also demonstrated that our system is flexible in terms of the type and concentration of contaminants it can handle. Combining two different electrochemical processes into a single system, we can reduce unnecessary voltage drop by having a shared anode, and achieve both seamless integration and energy efficient operation. Our system will find applications as a small-scale water treatment system, if properly scaled up in the future.
Siwon Choi,a Bumjoo Kimb and Jongyoon Han*bc Author affiliations * Corresponding authors a Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, USA b Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, USA E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: +1 617 258 5846 Tel: phone: +1 617 253 2290 c Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, USA