Dr. Chia-Hung Hou

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Dr. Chia-Hung Hou received his Bachelor's degree and Master's degrees from the National Taiwan University. He got his Ph.D. degree at the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology in 2008. He is currently a full professor at the Graduate Institute of Environmental Engineering, National Taiwan University. He currently also serves as the chief executive at NTU Water Innovation, Low Carbon and Environmental Sustainability Research Center. His areas of expertise are the synthesis of advanced carbon nanomaterials, electrochemical desalination, water reclamation, and resource recovery from wastewater. His group is pioneering in developing water-energy sustainable technologies. Especially, the pilot-scale membrane capacitive deionization has been demonstrated in the municipal wastewater treatment plants and semiconductor industry for water reclamation.

Membrane Capacitive Deionization for Desalination and Water Reuse

Water scarcity is one of the critical issues throughout the world today. Alternative water sources such as desalination (e.g., brackish water and seawater) and wastewater reuse have been introduced as strategic solutions to ensure water security. Note that the interdependence between water and energy is well-recognized as an important global issue. Most recently, membrane capacitive deionization (MCDI), inspired by energy storage devices (e.g., supercapacitors), is a promising desalination technology to separate ions from water associated with high water recovery, less chemical additive, and environmental friendliness.


In MCDI, ions can be electrostatically captured within the highly porous electrodes via electrical double-layer formation in the charging step, and then be released into the solution by discharging the electrodes. By placing ion-exchange membranes (IEMs) in front of each electrode, the desalination performance can be significantly improved with high salt adsorption capacity and charge efficiency. The presentation will introduce the fundamental of MCDI with its engineering implementation. We will demonstrate a pilot-scale MCDI system to reclaim the secondary effluents from municipal wastewater treatment plan. MCDI also provides great engineering opportunities for water recycling and reuse in high-tech industries.