An electrically regeneratable electrochemical cell (30) for capacitive deionization and electrochemical purification and regeneration of electrodes includes two end plates (31, 32), one at each end of the cell (30). A new regeneration method is applied to the cell (30) which includes slowing or stopping the purification cycle, electrically desorbing contaminants and removing the desorbed contaminants. The cell (30) further includes a plurality of generally identical double-sided intermediate electrodes (37-43) that are equidistally separated from each other, between the two end electrodes (35, 36). As the electrolyte enters the cell, it flows through a continuous open serpentine channel (65-71) defined by the electrodes, substantially parallel to the surfaces of the electrodes. By polarizing the cell (30), ions are removed from the electrolyte and are held in the electric double layers formed at the carbon aerogel surfaces of the electrodes. The cell (30) is regenerated electrically to desorb such previously removed ions.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.