Fluoride Action Network

Effective fluoride removal from brackish groundwaters by flow-electrode capacitive deionization (FCDI) under a continuous-flow mode

Source: Science of The Total Environment 804:150166. | September 8th, 2021 | Authors: Jiang H, Zhang J, Luo K, Xing W, Du J, Dong Y, Li X, Tang W.
Location: International
Industry type: Water Treatment


  • Utilizing FCDI to treat fluoride-contaminated brackish groundwater is quite effective.
  • SCC was the most advantageous among the three operational modes of SCC, SC and ICC.
  • F was preferentially removed compared to Cl with a high ion selectivity achievable.
  • Steady-state effluent F and Cl concentrations versus current are greatly different.


Herein, we demonstrated the suitability and effectiveness of utilizing flow-electrode capacitive deionization (FCDI) for treatment of fluoride-contaminated brackish groundwater. By comparing operational modes of short-circuited closed-cycle (SCC), isolated closed-cycle (ICC) and single cycle (SC), it was found that SCC mode was the most advantageous. In SCC configuration, the effects of different parameters on the removal of F and Cl were investigated including current density, hydraulic residence time (HRT), activated carbon (AC) loading and feed concentration of coexisting NaCl. Results indicated that the steady-state effluent Cl concentration dropped with elevated applied current, and the decreasing rate got faster with the increase of HRT or AC loading. However, for the steady-state effluent F concentration, it dropped to a value under a small applied current and maintained stable in spite of the increase in applied current, and both HRT and AC loading had insignificant effects on the steady-state effluent F concentration. F was preferentially removed from the treated water compared with Cl, and a higher ion selectivity could be obtained at lower applied current and smaller HRT with the trade-off being that operation under these circumstances would generate outlet water with little change in conductivity compared to the influent. The removal efficiencies of F and Cl both decreased with increasing feed concentration of coexisting NaCl. This study should be of value in establishing FCDI as a viable technology for treatment of fluoride-contaminated brackish groundwater.


    Capacitive deionization
    Flow electrode
    Fluoride removal
    Brackish groundwater