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Sonoelectrochemical production of hydrogen via alkaline water electrolysis

Hassan Zadeh, Salman (2013)
M.Res. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

Alkaline water electrolysis is a promising technology to produce clean and pure hydrogen. This technology coupled with the ultrasound results in an enhanced rate of hydrogen production. The recent technologies in the area of electrolysis are the application of solar energy using photovoltaic cells to supply electricity, steam electrolysis, PEM electrolysis, the application of magnetic field and high temperature solid oxide electrolysis cell. The literature studies indicate an improved mass transfer and 10%-25% energy saving using the ultrasound.

This work continues the previous research done in this area by investigating the effect of the ultrasound on a conventional water electrolysis cell along with other parameters subject of alteration such as electrode active surface area, concentration and temperature. The hydrogen production was measured using a digital hydrogen flowmeter; the average production efficiency and energy efficiency of the electrolysis cell were 72% and 14.5% respectively. It was calculated that the ultrasound increased the production efficiency by 6% and energy efficiency by 1.3%. The act of the ultrasound resulted in bubble removal from the surface of the electrode and the solution therefore prepared the electrode surface for the electrochemical reactions thus enhanced the hydrogen generation.

The current generation was enhanced by about 70% when the electrode active surface area was increased by about 45%, the hydrogen production rate however was not improved in an orderly fashion as a result of this increase in the electrode surface area. This increase is resulted from a larger electrode surface area available for the reaction, which refers to more active sites. The lowest ohmic resistance in our cell was obtained at 15M experiment, which was about 1.5 \(\Omega\) at 3.3V applied potential. This was slightly higher than 0.8 \(\Omega\) mentioned for a very recent work carried out in an advanced alkaline electrolysis cell, which benefited from a hydrophilic separator between the electrodes using a 28% KOH electrolyte solution. The average low ohmic resistance in our study for low concentration experiments (0.1M) was about 14\(\Omega\) at 30V.

Type of Work:M.Res. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Al-Duri, Bushra and Pollet, Bruno G
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Department:Department of Chemical Engineering
Subjects:QD Chemistry
TP Chemical technology
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:4014
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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