Electrochemical Cells and Microstructures
The team Electrochemical Cells and Microstructures is working on the modelling and simulation of electrochemical flow cells for various applications:
- Proton exchange membrane fuel cells are being developed to power heavy-duty vehicles like trucks. The aim is to replace combustion engines that currently run on fossil fuels. Thereby, the key technical challenge is to increase the durability of membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs). We are currently addressing this topic in the European project PEMTASTIC with a combination of micro- and mesoscale MEA models that allow to simulate both the cell performance and durability at power load cycling.
- Redox flow batteries (RFBs) are a technology for the grid-scale energy storage of fluctuating renewable power from photovoltaics and windmills. Aqueous organic RFBs have the advantage of low solvent cost and relatively high conductivity, and water-based electrolytes allow for safe battery operation. As a result of the European project SONAR, we have recently published a computationally efficient physics-based model of an aqueous organic RFB. The model is suitable for application in computational high-throughput screening to identify new active materials.
- Electrochemical flow cells are a key component of the future synthesis technology in the chemical industry, where electrical energy is used to power electrochemical reactions. The use of flow cells for the electro-organic synthesis will allow to produce fine chemicals or pharmaceuticals by use of renewable energy. Our team participates in the European project MiEl, where we are working on the simulation of electrode structures and the model-based analysis and design of electrochemical flow cells.
We are mainly active in the modelling and simulation of electrochemical flow cells on three length scales, that is, the electrochemical double layer, mesoscale models to link processes that occur on the double layer scale and the continuum representation of porous electrodes, and on cell scale models. Thereby, we account for the coupling of electrochemical reactions and transport phenomena of momentum, mass, heat, and charge. We use these models to simulate cell performance and degradation phenomena but also to perform parameter sensitivity studies, and uncertainty propagation analysis.