Deionization shock driven by electroconvection in a circular channel

Zhibo Gu, Bingrui Xu, Peng Huo, Shmuel M. Rubinstein, Martin Z. Bazant, Daosheng Deng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


In a circular channel passing overlimiting current (faster than diffusion), transient vortices of bulk electroconvection are observed in a salt-depleted region within the horizontal plane. The spatiotemporal evolution of the salt concentration is directly visualized, revealing the propagation of a deionization shock wave driven by bulk electroconvection up to millimeter scales. This mechanism leads to quantitatively similar dynamics as for deionization shocks in charged porous media, which are driven instead by surface conduction and electro-osmotic flow at micron to nanometer scales. The remarkable generality of deionization shocks under overlimiting current could be used to manipulate ion transport in complex geometries for desalination and water treatment.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number113701
JournalPhysical Review Fluids
Issue number11
StatePublished - 5 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 American Physical Society.


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