Decoupling Gas Evolution from Water-Splitting Electrodes

Pablo Peñas Lopez*, Peter van der Linde, Wouter Jan Cornelis Vijselaar, Devaraj van der Meer, Detlef Lohse, J. Huskens, H. Gardeniers, Miguel A. Modestino, David Fernandez Rivas

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Bubbles are known to hinder electrochemical processes in water-splitting electrodes. In this study, we present a novel method to promote gas evolution away from the electrode surface. We consider a ring microelectrode encircling a hydrophobic microcavity from which a succession of bubbles grows. The ring microelectrode, tested under alkaline water electrolysis conditions, does not suffer from bubble coverage. Consequently, the chronopotentiometric fluctuations of the cell are weaker than those associated with conventional microelectrodes. Herein, we provide fundamental understanding of the mass transfer processes governing the transient behavior of the cell potential. With the help of numerical transport models, we demonstrate that bubbles forming at the cavity reduce the concentration overpotential by lowering the surrounding concentration of dissolved gas, but may also aggravate the ohmic overpotential by blocking ion-conduction pathways. The theoretical and experimental insight gained have relevant implications in the design of efficient gas-evolving electrodes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H769-H776
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Volume166
Issue number15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2019

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Microelectrodes
Gases
Electrodes
Water
Microcavities
Electrolysis
Mass transfer
Cells
Ions

Cite this

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title = "Decoupling Gas Evolution from Water-Splitting Electrodes",
abstract = "Bubbles are known to hinder electrochemical processes in water-splitting electrodes. In this study, we present a novel method to promote gas evolution away from the electrode surface. We consider a ring microelectrode encircling a hydrophobic microcavity from which a succession of bubbles grows. The ring microelectrode, tested under alkaline water electrolysis conditions, does not suffer from bubble coverage. Consequently, the chronopotentiometric fluctuations of the cell are weaker than those associated with conventional microelectrodes. Herein, we provide fundamental understanding of the mass transfer processes governing the transient behavior of the cell potential. With the help of numerical transport models, we demonstrate that bubbles forming at the cavity reduce the concentration overpotential by lowering the surrounding concentration of dissolved gas, but may also aggravate the ohmic overpotential by blocking ion-conduction pathways. The theoretical and experimental insight gained have relevant implications in the design of efficient gas-evolving electrodes.",
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Decoupling Gas Evolution from Water-Splitting Electrodes. / Peñas Lopez, Pablo ; van der Linde, Peter ; Vijselaar, Wouter Jan Cornelis; van der Meer, Devaraj; Lohse, Detlef ; Huskens, J.; Gardeniers, H.; Modestino, Miguel A.; Fernandez Rivas, David .

In: Journal of the Electrochemical Society, Vol. 166, No. 15, 23.10.2019, p. H769-H776.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AU - Peñas Lopez, Pablo

AU - van der Linde, Peter

AU - Vijselaar, Wouter Jan Cornelis

AU - van der Meer, Devaraj

AU - Lohse, Detlef

AU - Huskens, J.

AU - Gardeniers, H.

AU - Modestino, Miguel A.

AU - Fernandez Rivas, David

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AB - Bubbles are known to hinder electrochemical processes in water-splitting electrodes. In this study, we present a novel method to promote gas evolution away from the electrode surface. We consider a ring microelectrode encircling a hydrophobic microcavity from which a succession of bubbles grows. The ring microelectrode, tested under alkaline water electrolysis conditions, does not suffer from bubble coverage. Consequently, the chronopotentiometric fluctuations of the cell are weaker than those associated with conventional microelectrodes. Herein, we provide fundamental understanding of the mass transfer processes governing the transient behavior of the cell potential. With the help of numerical transport models, we demonstrate that bubbles forming at the cavity reduce the concentration overpotential by lowering the surrounding concentration of dissolved gas, but may also aggravate the ohmic overpotential by blocking ion-conduction pathways. The theoretical and experimental insight gained have relevant implications in the design of efficient gas-evolving electrodes.

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