With the push towards renewable power and reduced greenhouse gasses, stationary energy storage has become a critical part of the electric grid. These systems also give great economic benefit in peak shaving, rate optimization, avoidance of capital improvements and power quality and reliability. There are many energy storage technologies in the market place which each have their own advantages and disadvantages in specific niche uses.
One of these technologies, Redox Flow Batteries, uses two separate tanks of electrolyte. These electrolytes are oxidized or reduced on electrodes within a cell when electricity is either being charged into the system or discharged for use. Since the energy capacity is dependent on the electrolyte tank size (energy capacity) while the power is dictated by the cell size, flow batteries have the advantage of scaling these technical criteria independently. This means that, instead of investing in entirely new batteries, more power can be made available simply by inexpensively increasing the electrolyte tank size.
In many technologies, there are high electrode potentials or the desire to run these systems at a high current. As these potentials increase, the effectiveness of the battery system increases but so does the corrosiveness. Conventional carbon electrodes are not stable above 1 volts vs. SHE. In addition, by creating an electrode with a higher surface area, current flow can be increased to the battery without increasing the electrode size. For these reasons, a titanium electrode is always a good technical choice in all chemistries but an absolute requirement in some chemistries.
De Nora can be your electrode solution for many different Redox Flow Battery technologies. We are able to tailor the performance and electrode to your specific needs and energy system. We have already worked with many energy storage solution companies. Contact us through the link to the right to discuss how we can help you achieve the best performance possible for your energy storage solution technology.
Gas Diffusion Electrodes/ Gas Diffusion Layer
De Nora’s GDEs are suitable for use in fuel cells, HCl electrolysis and chlor-alkali production.
What is a “GDE - Gas-Diffusion Electrode”
Sometimes it might be necessary to carry out particular types of electrochemical reactions, wherein one or more of the reactants are in gas phase.
In this case, using conventional electrodes the reaction would proceed at slow rate, making the process inapplicable or at least uneconomical: the gas solubility is usually small and its consequent low concentration would lead to a severe limitation of mass transport phenomena toward the electrode surfaces.
A different electrode, with a particular and engineered porous structure, capable of favouring the contact between catalyst and reactants in liquid and gas phase (three phase region), allowing a fast removal of the reaction products and an effective electric current transport is then necessary for these reactions: a GAS-DIFFUSION ELECTRODE.
The right GDE structure is designed for the specific application and obtained by optimization of the electrode porosity, hydrophobicity, hydrophilicity and thickness. The catalyst employed also depends on the field of utilization of the electrode, usually being a noble metal compound in form of a finely dispersed metal or oxide, supported on a material having a large surface area (such as active carbon) and embedded in a polymer binder network.
Potential uses of the GDE technology
Some interesting processes where GDE is already industrially used or where it is foreseen for future deployment are listed in the following table:
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