Weak contact between activated carbon (AC) particles results in a poor conductivity for the electrode slurry, which limits the improved desalination performance in flow-electrode capacitive deionization (FCDI). Based on the bridging and filling effects of nanoparticles, we report a ternary composite slurry with multi-dimensional sized carbon particles by introducing the carbon nanotubes (CNT) and carbon black (CB) into AC-based slurry, namely AC/(CB+CNT) slurry. Further enhanced electrical conductivity relative to conventional pure AC slurry. By comparison analysis, FCDI system with the ternary carbon composite slurry had a faster average salt removal rate (ASAR) of 1.89 μmol cm−2 min−1 under at 1.2 V in a feed salinity of 2.0 g L-1, which is 3.27 1.92 and 1.46 times that of pure AC, AC/CB and AC/CNT slurry. In long-term operation (1800 min, U =1.6 V), the AC/(CB+CNT) slurry exhibited a stable ASAR of 4.41μmol cm−2 min−1 and maintained a charging efficiency (CE) of around 96% and molar energy consumption (Em) of 0.043 kWh mol-1. Electrochemical analysis and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation further confirms that AC/(CB+CNT) slurry enable system with a point-to-line-to-surface connection morphology, which generates a robust charge percolation network with diverse pathway and facilitates the charge transfer. In summary, this study developed a facile strategy for increasing the slurry conductivity to provide a feasible approach in efficient desalination application.

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