Enabling Superior Sodium Capture for Efficient Water Desalination by a Tubular Polyaniline Decorated with Prussian Blue Nanocrystals

The application of electrochemical energy storage materials to capacitive deionisation (CDI), a low-cost and energy-efficient technology for brackish water desalination, has recently been proven effective in solving problems of some traditional CDI electrodes.  However, Faradaic electrode materials suffer from slow salt removal rate and short lifetime, which restrict their practical usage.  

Here, polyaniline (PANI)-tube-decorated with Prussian blue (PB) nanocrystals is shown to successfully combine characteristics of two traditional Faradaic materials, and achieve high performance for CDI.  The synergistic effect, interfacial enhancement, and desalination mechanism of PB/PANI are also revealed through in situ characterisation and theoretical calculations.  This work provides a facile strategy for design of PB-based composites, which motivates the development of advanced materials toward high-performance CDI applications.

Credits to Dr Deng Tianqi, Dr Yang Shuo Wang

The paper was published in Advanced Materials