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Deionization and desalination using electrostatic ion pumping

United States Patent

June 11, 2013
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory - Visit the Industrial Partnerships Office Website
The present invention provides a new method and apparatus/system for purifying ionic solutions, such as, for example, desalinating water, using engineered charged surfaces to sorb ions from such solutions. Surface charge is applied externally, and is synchronized with oscillatory fluid movements between substantially parallel charged plates. Ions are held in place during fluid movement in one direction (because they are held in the electrical double layer), and released for transport during fluid movement in the opposite direction by removing the applied electric field. In this way the ions, such as salt, are "ratcheted" across the charged surface from the feed side to the concentrate side. The process itself is very simple and involves only pumps, charged surfaces, and manifolds for fluid collection.
Bourcier; William L. (Livermore, CA), Aines; Roger D. (Livermore, CA), Haslam; Jeffery J. (Livermore, CA), Schaldach; Charlene M. (Pleasanton, CA), O'Brien; Kevin C. (San Ramon, CA), Cussler; Edward (Edina, MN)
Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (Livermore, CA), Regents of the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN)
13/ 159,862
June 14, 2011
STATEMENT AS TO RIGHTS TO INVENTIONS MADE UNDER FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC52-07NA27344 between the United States Department of Energy and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.