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Integrated experimental and modeling approach for the study of gas-evolving electrochemical reactions

Tuesday, 1 June, 2010 - 17:00
Campus: Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering campus
Heidi Van Parys
phd defence

Many industrial processes deal with gas production reactions. In terms of reactor design,
process optimization and energy costs, it is crucial to have a thorough description of the
influence of gas bubbles on the overall reactor behavior.

In this work, the methodology and the tools needed for such an approach are supplied.
This is done through a combined experimental and modeling approach.

As a case study, the hydrogen reduction reaction and the zinc electro-winning process
with simultaneous hydrogen gas evolution are selected.

The kinetics of the gas-evolving electrochemical reactions are experimentally
investigated and the gas bubbles characteristics are determined through optical imaging

Additionally, a mathematical model is developed that allows for the calculation of (i) the
flow field, (ii) gas bubble tracking in space and time and (iii) the (electro)chemical
reactions taking place in electrochemical reactors with gas-evolving electrodes.
Finally, the validity of the determined two-phase model is assessed by comparing the
computed results of the developed two-phase model to experiments. Promising results are