Zero Waste Water Capacitive Deionization (CDI)



Drinking water treatments, Analytical laboratory, Health care (Hospitals and Dental Clinics), Pharmaceutical laboratory etc.

Target Problems

  • Heavy metal contamination in drinking or potable water is a major public health concern due to its toxic nature.
  • Majority of the techniques available not only remove unwanted heavy metal ions (Cu, Pb, Cd etc.,) but also end up removing healthy metal ions (such as Ca2+, Mg2+) in the process.

Features and Benefits

  • Low cost – low energy consumption
  • Improved performance- selective high removal of heavy metal ions against healthy ions (Ca2+, Mg2+)
  • Healthy water standards – minimal associated extraction to maintain optimal concentration of healthy ions without affecting taste or odor of the tap water
  • Zero waste discharge technology – easy collection of lead ions using filters with zero wastewater generation


Inventors at UW-Milwaukee (UWM) have developed a technology based on capacitive deionization (CDI) that selectively removes lead (Pb2+) from tap water in a single pass mode with zero wastewater emission. This filtration system uses custom made electrodes that allow minimal removal of associated healthy ions (Ca2+ and Mg2+), leaving water safe and healthy for consumption from every tap. Various techniques are available in the market that can be effectively used to remove heavy metal ions from the water, but these methods not only remove unwanted metal ions like Cu, Pb, Cd etc., but also end up removing healthy metal ions (such as Ca2+, Mg2+) in the process. CDI is a water purifying technique that has been less explored in heavy metal ion removal compared to other traditional methods. The lead ion precipitate can be collected using filters equipped in the pipeline, thereby leading to zero‐wastewater generation during the process.

Intellectual Property

US Patent Pending, US20210130844A1


Junhong Chen, Ph.D.
Distinguish University Professor, UW-Milwaukee (former), Crown Family Professor of Molecular Engineering and Lead Water Strategist at Argonne National Laboratory

Xingkang Huang, Ph.D.
Scientist, UW-Milwaukee (former), Staff Scientist, The University of Chicago

Please contact our office to share your business’ needs and learn more.