Exploring the Potential of Electrodialysis


  • Stephanie Farrell Rowan University
  • Robert P. Hesketh Rowan University
  • C. Stewart Slater Rowan University


Electrodialysis is an electrochemical membrane separation technique for electrolyte solutions that is used in several industries for a wide variety of applications. Students at the undergraduate level can learn the principles that govern electrodialysis and perform relatively simple experiments to examine fundamental operating parameters. This paper describes a hands-on investigation of electrodialysis that introduces the fundamental principles, design, and applications of electrodialysis technology. The effects of various process operating conditions on the system performance are explored experimentally. Emphasis is given to data analysis and engineering calculations related to rate of ion transfer, Faraday’s law, efficiency, energy consumption, and separation performance. These experiments can be implemented in core chemical engineering courses such as unit operations and separation processes, or in elective or graduate-level courses in green/environmental engineering, wastewater treatment, electrochemical engineering, pharmaceutical engineering, and food engineering.

Author Biographies

Stephanie Farrell, Rowan University

Stephanie Farrell is Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at Rowan University She received her BS in 1986 from the University of Pennsylvania. her MS in 1992 from Stevens Institute of Technology, and her PhD in 1996 from New Jersey Institute of Technology Her teaching and research interests are in controlled drug delivery and biomedical engineering.

Robert P. Hesketh, Rowan University

Robert Hesketh is Professor of Chemical Engineering at Rowan University He received his BS in 1982 from the University of Illinois and his PhD from the University of Delaware in 1987. His research is in the areas of reaction engineering. novel separations. and green engineering.

C. Stewart Slater, Rowan University

C. Stewart Slater is Chair of the Chemical Engineering Department at Rowan University He is a two-time recipient of the Martin Award. and other awards include the Westinghouse. Carlson. and Dow. He is the founding chair of the innovative. hands-on undergraduate-focused chemical engineering program at Rowan. He is on the editorial board of Chemical Engineering Education andThe International Journal of Engineering Education.