In this study, a multiwalled carbon nanotubes-chitosan (CNTs-CS) composite electrode was fabricated to enable water purification by electrosorption. The CNTs-CS composite electrode was shown to possess excellent capacitive behaviors and good pore accessibility by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, galvanostatic charge-discharge, and cyclic voltammetry measurements in 1 M H2SO4 electrolyte. Moreover, the CNTs-CS composite electrode showed promising performance for capacitive water desalination. At an electric potential of 1.2 V, the electrosorption capacity and electrosorption rate of NaCl ions on the CNTs-CS composite electrode were determined to be 10.7 mg g-1 and 0.051 min-1, respectively, which were considerably higher than those of conventional activated electrodes. The improved electrosorption performance could be ascribed to the existence of mesopores. Additionally, the feasibility of electrosorptive removal of aniline from an aqueous solution has been demonstrated. Upon polarization at 0.6 V, the CNTs-CS composite electrode had a larger electrosorption capacity of 26.4 mg g-1 and a higher electrosorption rate of 0.006 min-1 for aniline compared with the open circuit condition. The enhanced adsorption resulted from the improved affinity between aniline and the electrode under electrochemical assistance involving a nonfaradic process. Consequently, the CNT-CS composite electrode, exhibiting typical double-layer capacitor behavior and a sufficient potential range, can be a potential electrode material for application in the electrosorption process.
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