Emerging Frontiers in Multichannel Membrane Capacitive Deionization: Recent Advances and Future Prospects

Capacitive deionization (CDI) has emerged as a promising desalination technology and recently promoted the development of multichannel membrane capacitive deionization (MC-MCDI). In MC-MCDI, the independent control of multiflow channels, including the feed and electrolyte channels, enables the optimization of electrode operation in various modes, such as concentration gradients and reverse voltage discharge, facilitating semicontinuous operation. Moreover, the integration of redox couples into MC-MCDI has led to advancements in redox-mediated desalination. Specifically, the introduction of redox-active species helps enhance the ion removal efficiency and reduce energy consumption during desalination. This systematic approach, combining principles from CDI and electrodialysis, results in more sustainable and efficient desalination. These advancements have contributed to improved desalination performance and practical feasibility, rendering MC-MCDI an increasingly attractive option for addressing water scarcity challenges. Despite the considerable interest in and potential of this process, there is currently no comprehensive review available that covers the operational features and applications of MC-MCDI. Therefore, this Review provides an overview of recent research progress, focusing on the unique cell configuration, vital operation principles, and potential advantages over conventional CDI. Additionally, innovative applications of MC-MCDI are discussed. The Review concludes with insights into future research directions, potential opportunities in industrial desalination technology, and the fundamental and practical challenges for successful implementation.