Evaluation of flow schemes for near-neutral pH electrolytes in solar-fuel generators

Meenesh R. Singh, Chengxiang Xiang, Nathan S Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The electrochemical performance of three different types of membrane-containing electrolyte-flow schemes for solar-driven water splitting has been studied quantitatively using 1-dimensional and 2-dimensional multi-physics models. The three schemes include a recirculation scheme with a well-mixed bulk electrolyte, a recirculation scheme with laminar flow fields, and a fresh-feed scheme with laminar flow fields. The Nernstian potential loss associated with pH gradients at the electrode surfaces, the resistive loss between the cathode and anode, the product-gas crossovers, and the required pumping energy in all three schemes have been evaluated as a function of the operational current density, the flow rates for the electrolyte, and the physical dimensions of the devices. The trade-offs in the voltage loss, safety considerations, and energy inputs from the balance-of-systems required to produce a practical device have been evaluated and compared to membrane-free devices as well as to devices that operate at extreme pH values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)458-466
Number of pages9
JournalSustainable Energy and Fuels
Volume1
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017

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Electrolytes
Laminar flow
Flow fields
Membranes
Anodes
Cathodes
Current density
Physics
Flow rate
Electrodes
Electric potential
Gases
Water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Fuel Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

Cite this

Evaluation of flow schemes for near-neutral pH electrolytes in solar-fuel generators. / Singh, Meenesh R.; Xiang, Chengxiang; Lewis, Nathan S.

In: Sustainable Energy and Fuels, Vol. 1, No. 3, 01.01.2017, p. 458-466.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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