Electrically driven adsorption, electroadsorption, is at the core of technologies for water desalination, energy production, and energy storage using electrolytic capacitors. Modeling can be crucial for understanding and optimizing these devices, and hence different approaches have been taken to develop multiple models, which have been applied to explain capacitive deionization (CDI) device performances for water desalination. Herein, we first discuss the underlying physics of electroadsorption and explain the fundamental similarities between the suggested models. Three CDI models, namely, the more widely used modified Donnan (mD) model, the Randles circuit model, and the recently proposed dynamic Langmuir (DL) model, are compared in terms of modeling approaches. Crucially, the common physical foundation of the models allows them to be improved by incorporating elements and simulation tools from the other models. As a proof of concept, the performance of the Randles circuit is significantly improved by incorporating a modeling element from the mD model and an implementation tool from the DL model (charge-dependent capacitance and system identification, respectively). These principles are accurately validated using data from reports in the literature showing significant prospects in combining modeling elements and tools to properly describe the results obtained in these experiments.
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