|This article relies on references to primary sources. (December 2007)|
Electrodeionization (EDI) is usually considered a water treatment technology that utilizes an electrode to ionize water molecules and separate dissolved ions (impurities) from water. It differs from other water purification technologies in that it is done without the use of chemical treatments and is usually a tertiary treatment to reverse osmosis (RO).
An important application for electrodeionization is the production of pure water and ultrapure water. In EDI, the purifying compartments and sometimes the concentrating compartments of the electrodialysis stack are filled with ion-exchange resin. When fed with low TDS feed (e.g., feed purified by RO), the product can reach very high purity levels (e.g., 18 Megohms/cm). The ion exchange resins act to retain the ions, allowing these to be transported across the ion exchange membranes. The main usage of EDI technology such as that supplied by Ionpure and SnowPure are in electronics, pharmaceutical, and power generation applications.
An electrode in an electrochemical cell is referred to as either an anode or a cathode, terms that were coined by Michael Faraday. The anode is defined as the electrode at which electrons leave the cell and oxidation occurs, and the cathode as the electrode at which electrons enter the cell and reduction occurs. Each electrode may become either the anode or the cathode depending on the voltage applied to the cell. A bipolar electrode is an electrode that functions as the anode of one cell and the cathode of another cell.
Each cell consists of an electrode and an electrolyte with ions that undergo either oxidation or reduction. An electrolyte is a substance containing free ions that behaves as an electrically conductive medium. Because they generally consist of ions in solution, electrolytes are also known as ionic solutions, but molten electrolytes and solid electrolytes are also possible. They are sometimes referred to in abbreviated jargon as lytes.
Water is passed between an anode (positive electrode) and a cathode (negative electrode). Ion-selective membranes allow the positive ions to separate from the water toward the negative electrode and the negative ions toward the positive electrode. High purity deionized water results.
See also 
- Continuous Electrodeionization (CEDI/EDI) Ionpure CEDI Products
- CEDI University web site
- Electrodeionization SnowPure, LLC
- Electrodeionization (EDI), The Dow Chemical Company
- Electrodeionization, Aquatech
- Advanced Electrodeionization Technology for Product Desalting, Argonne National Laboratory
- , Resistivity / Conductivity Measurement of Purified Water, Lab Manager Magazine