From capacitive deionization to desalination batteries and desalination fuel cells

The considerable growth of the world population, concomitant with an increase in environmental pollution, aggravates the antinomy between supply and demand for drinking water. Various desalination technologies have been developed to address this issue, allowing for abundant saltwater as a source for drinking water. Electrochemical desalination attracts more and more attention due to its high energy efficiency, facile operation, and low cost. Especially within the last decade, tremendous scientific progress on electrochemical desalination technologies has been made. This paper reviews the development of electrochemical desalination technologies and introduces a facile classification into three generations according to the different working principles. The cell architecture, metrics, advantages, and disadvantages of other electrochemical desalination technologies are introduced and compared.