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Mapping Charge Percolation in Flowable Electrodes Used in Capacitive Deionization

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journal contribution
posted on 15.05.2019, 00:00 by Marm B. Dixit, Daniel Moreno, Xianghui Xiao, Marta C. Hatzell, Kelsey B. Hatzell
Electrical percolation in flow electrode capacitive deionization is critical to mitigate electronic resistance and maximize ion electrosorption. It is experimentally challenging to characterize mass and charge transfer phenomena in flow electrodes with space and time dimensions. Here, we demonstrate a way to resolve charge percolation pathways at sub-micron resolutions using synchrotron X-ray tomography and computational techniques. Three-dimensional reconstructed images provide a means to measure important micro- and mesoscale electrode properties, such as pore-size distribution, aggregation size, and percolation properties. Developing this microstructural understanding of flow-electrodes is necessary to understand how transport limitations impact separations performance and to inform operating conditions at the technology level (flow regimes).