Project

ProtonFlux: A Simple Calculator for Electrochemical Reactors

Goal: ProtonFlux was conceived as an educational tool and simple aid to the study of reactant conversion in electrochemical reactors and flow cells operating under full mass transfer control. It is based on the electrochemical plug flow reactor model equations. It is better applied to the processing of diluted solutions and electrode reactions taking place at the limiting current. However, mass transfer characterisation and flow rate calculations are useful to any parallel plane electrochemical reactor.

ProtonFlux will be specially useful to those working on electrochemical water treatment, decontamination and in the characterisation of mass transfer of electrochemical reactors with relatively uniform current distribution, such as laboratory redox flow batteries.

Luis Fernando Arenas
Oliver Rodriguez

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Luis Fernando Arenas
added an update
Dear colleagues,
ProtonFlux has been introduced today in a poster at the 2021 #RSCPoster Twitter Conference.
Executable installers are now available for Windows and Ubuntu systems in the release page in GitHub. The links can be found in: https://oliverrdz.xyz/proton-flux/ Please give them a go.
In short, the idea is get students and researchers to think about the importance of flow rate and conversion per pass vs. time in electrochemical flow reactors. Basic normalised flow rates can be instantly calculated. Meanwhile, the effect of flow rate on reactant conversion can be visualised by changing the mass transfer coefficient and electrode surface area (their measured values are flow rate dependent). This is relevant under a mass transfer-controlled reaction rate.
These conditions are found typically in electrochemical operations handling diluted reactants, such as oxidation of pollutants, recovery of dissolved metals and some cases of electrosynthesis. However, mass transfer control can be set in most electrochemical reactors and flow cells deliberately by working at the limiting current. This can be used to 'size' the reactor and establish its mass transfer characteristics. At the lab scale and with low ohmic resistance, little deviations can be expected from the ideal case. Hence ProtonFlux becomes also relevant for reactors and flow cells that operate closer to or at the charge transfer control regime, such as redox flow batteries or electrosynthesis with concentrated reactants. One of the simplest models for electrochemical reactors is to consider them as electrochemical plug flow reactors. In any case, this is a good exercise for introducing electrochemical flow cells and to develop more scalable experiments.
ProtonFlux was conceived by Luis Fernando Arenas (me) and written by my colleague Oliver Rodriguez. We are already considering version 2.0 and we will be open to feedback and suggestions.
Regards,
Luis Fernando
*I am in debt to Prof Frank C. Walsh for introducing me to this important topic during my studies.
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For more details see:
Walsh FC. A First Course in Electrochemical Engineering. Romsey: The Electrochemical Consultancy; 1993. Sections 5.3.3 to 5.4.2 and chapter 6.
Pletcher D, Walsh FC. Industrial Electrochemistry. 2nd ed. London: Chapman and Hall; 1990. Page 29 and Section 2.4.
Trinidad P, Walsh FC, Gilroy D. Conversion expressions for electrochemical reactors which operate under mass transport controlled reaction conditions, Part I: batch reactor, PFR and CSTR. Int J Engng Ed. 1998;14(6):431-441.
Walsh FC, Trinidad P, Gilroy D. Conversion expressions for electrochemical reactors which operate under mass transport controlled reaction conditions-Part II: Batch recycle, cascade and recycle loop reactors. Int J Engng Ed. 2005;21(5):981-992.i
Goodridge F, Scott K. Electrochemical Process Engineering. New York: Springer Science & Business Media; 1995. pp. 25, Chapter 4.
 
Luis Fernando Arenas
added an update
Dear colleagues,
ProtonFlux will make its debut at the 2021 #RSCPoster Twitter Conference, which will take place on the 2nd of March 2021. An online, worldwide event.
ProtonFlux is written in Python using the numpy, matplotlib and PyQt5 libraries. It was designed by Luis Fernando Arenas and written by Oliver Rodríguez.
Binaries will be available for Windows and Ubuntu systems in the releases page in GitHub. Follow its development in this project site.
Regards,
Fernando
 
Luis Fernando Arenas
added a project goal
ProtonFlux was conceived as an educational tool and simple aid to the study of reactant conversion in electrochemical reactors and flow cells operating under full mass transfer control. It is based on the electrochemical plug flow reactor model equations. It is better applied to the processing of diluted solutions and electrode reactions taking place at the limiting current. However, mass transfer characterisation and flow rate calculations are useful to any parallel plane electrochemical reactor.
ProtonFlux will be specially useful to those working on electrochemical water treatment, decontamination and in the characterisation of mass transfer of electrochemical reactors with relatively uniform current distribution, such as laboratory redox flow batteries.
Luis Fernando Arenas
Oliver Rodriguez