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Sustainable and Green Electrochemical Science and Technology

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Keith Scott


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Electrochemistry is a science which is widely used and applied industrially and embraces applications from sensors, synthesis, power/energy generation to corrosion protection and biological systems. Particular attractions of electrochemistry that comes from the science are the potential to carry out cleaner syntheses, which minimise chemical reagent use and thus waste and byproducts, and to use such reactions in clean energy conversion and power generation. Such processes have common elements of electrochemical science and engineering which when applied with appropriate knowledge of system and reactor design have led to technological achievements. This book will take the reader from basic scientific principles into the range of applications of electrochemistry and explain how technology has emerged over more recent years in a broad range of applications. This will enable readers to not only appreciate the importance and also in many respects the uniqueness of the technology, but also enable them to apply electrochemistry through an understanding of science, engineering analysis and basic design technology. Chapter 1 gives an introduction to sustainable and green electrochemistry and in particular looks at aspects linked to the use of hydrogen within a future hydrogen economy. Chapter 2 is devoted to electrochemistry principles and fundamentals. It describes and quantifies the relevant electrochemical thermodynamic and kinetic (rate) processes used in the design and implementation of an operating electrochemical cell. This cell may be either a power generation device, a device for chemical synthesis or separation of materials or respond to light using suitable photo-catalysts. The chapter considers the basics of electrochemical cells, electrochemical reactions mechanisms and rate processes. Chapter 3 builds on the basic principles in chapter 2 and considers the factors in electrochemical reactor design in the broad context of both synthesis and power generation. The performance of an electrochemical reactor is in particular judged on its production capacity (or current density), current efficiency and its energy consumption or production Chapter 4 describes the science and technologies used for the production of a range of organic chemicals by electrochemical synthesis. This includes several important chemicals produced as bulk or speciality products or intermediates. Due to the current world-wide concern over carbon dioxide emissions the use of electrochemistry in carbon capture processes is also described, with an emphasis on formation of chemical feed stocks by electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide. There has been over recent decades an increase in the development of technologies to support a hydrogen energy society. One of the challenges in this is to achieve more sustainable and cleaner methods of hydrogen production. Chapter 5 is thus dedicated to describing the science and technology associated with the various processes for generation of hydrogen from water and specifically electrochemical processes involving the electrolysis of water. Chapter 6 provides an overview of electrosynthesis processes which have been established for decades and frequently operate at very large industrial scales to produce inorganic chemicals; with emphasis on processes which have are used commercially or are under development. This sector typifies the versatility of electrochemistry in that it includes processes operating at very high temperatures with molten salt electrolytes and processes operating at low temperature with aqueous based electrolytes. Such processes are used to produce metals such as aluminium and sodium, at high temperatures, and to produce bulk chemicals such as sodium hydroxide and reactive gases, such as chlorine, at ambient temperature. The world requires power generation at various scales and the use of electrochemistry plays a major role in this generation through a range of different technologies; and notably batteries. Chapter 7 describes the operating characteristics, mechanisms and materials used in a range of electrochemical energy storage and power generation devices; including batteries and also supercapacitors, redox flow cells and biological fuel cells. The description is complimentary to that in Chapter 8 which describes in specific details the characteristics and principles of operation of a range of fuel cell technologies. Fuel cells directly convert the chemical energy in fuels into electrical energy and were demonstrated by William Grove in 1839, using electrochemically generated hydrogen and oxygen. Only in the last 40 or so years has there been significant interest in fuels cells; again brought about by the parallel interest in using hydrogen as a fuel in an energy efficient and environmentally clean manner. Chapter 9 focuses on electrochemical based processes for recovery of chemical species or transformation of species into valuable compounds from waste streams and process streams. Applications include the treatments of liquid born species, gases and solids using indirect and direct electrochemical transformation and using ion-exchange membranes for separations. Overall this book tries to emphasise that electrochemistry plays a major role within society and industry in providing cleaner, greener and more sustainable technologies and will continue to have a major impact in many new applications.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Scott K

Publication type: Authored Book

Publication status: Published

Year: 2017

Number of Pages: 408

Print publication date: 01/07/2017

Acceptance date: 01/02/2017

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc

Place Published: Chichester, UK

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781119972440