Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Wipf, David O.

Committee Member

Mlsna, Debra A.

Committee Member

Mlsna, Todd E.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Chemistry


Capacitive deionization based on electrosorption has become a viable process for brackish water desalination. In this study, activated biochar was employed as low-cost and alternative carbon-based electrodes substituting activated carbon with comparable adsorption capacity. Effects of different activation temperatures of the biochar were studied by physical characterization (i.e. SEM, TEM, elemental analysis, and Raman spectroscopy) and electrochemical characterization (i.e. cyclic voltammetry and galvanostatic charge/discharge measurement) based on the electrical double layer theory. The highest specific capacitance obtained (118.50 F g-1) was from activated biochar electrode treated at 800°C. The removal capacity was investigated by AAS and conductivity measurements. Several limitations associated with them were identified to improve the measurements. The removal capacity of biochar electrode is ~ 2 mg g-1 with significant results for both one-sided and two-sided t-test. In summary, activated biochar can be used as a cheap-alternative electrode material for desalination based on capacitive deionization.