Capacitive deionization (CDI) is a promising procedure for removing various charged ionic species from brackish water. The performance of graphene-based material in capacitive deionization is lower than the expectation of the industry, so highly-crumpled, few-layered graphene (HCG) and highly-crumpled nitrogen-doped graphene (HCNDG) with high surface area have been introduced as promising candidates for CDI electrodes. Thus, HCG and HCNDG were prepared by exfoliation of graphite in the presence of liquid-phase, microwave-assisted methods. An industrially-scalable, cost-effective, and simple approach was employed to synthesize HCG and HCNDG, resulting in few-layered graphene and nitrogen-doped graphene with large specific surface area. Then, HCG and HCNDG were utilized for manufacturing a new class of carbon nanostructure-based electrodes for use in large-scale CDI equipment. The electrosorption results indicated that both the HCG and HCNDG have fairly large specific surface areas, indicating their huge potential for capacitive deionization applications.