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The Use of Power Ultrasound and Sonochemistry for the Production of Energy Materials

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The Use of Power Ultrasound and Sonochemistry for the Production of Energy Materials
The fabrication and use of nanomaterials for electrochemical energy
storage devices (ESD) such as fuel cells, electrolysers, batteries and
supercapacitors have been of great interest in the academic and in-
dustrial communities due to their unique properties. The important
mechanism controlling the nanosized material is nucleation and
growth, depending strongly upon the synthetic routes employed. Many
methods exist for the synthesis of nanoparticles, including alcohol re-
duction, citrate reduction, polyol reduction, borohydride reduction,
photolytic reduction, radiolytic reduction, laser ablation, and metal
evaporation condensation, to name but a few. However, the synthesis of
these materials at large scale can be challenging due to the high cost,
intense labour and use of hazardous solvents.
Since the publication of ‘The use of ultrasound for the fabrication of
fuel cell materials’ in the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy (IJHE)
in 2010 [1], there has been an upsurge of international interest in the
use of power ultrasound, sonochemistry, and sonoelectrochemistry for
the production of electrochemical ESD nanomaterials. For example, it
has been shown that it is possible to employ power ultrasound for the
preparation of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) and
Proton Exchange Membrane Water Electrolyser (PEMWE) catalysts [2].
The review detailed the ultrasonic, sonochemical, and sonoelec-
trochemical generation of noble metal electrocatalysts with nanosizes
of < 10 nm with and without the addition of surfactants and alcohols,
carbon supported electrocatalysts, fuel cell electrodes, and membranes.
The paper showed that (i) the production of these nanomaterials is
mainly attributed to the presence of radical species induced by water
sonolysis, (ii) the nanomaterial size depends strongly upon the ultra-
sonic frequency and irradiation time, surfactant, alcohol, and atmo-
spheric gas types, and (iii) the as-prepared catalyst on carbon nano-
materials leads to excellent electrocatalytic activity due to carbon
support surface functionalization and effective dispersion caused by
sonication [1,2].
Sonochemistry is therefore a powerful hybrid technique that com-
bines power ultrasound and chemistry in a specially designed chemical
setup, which can be effectively used to produce energy nanomaterials
with controlled sizes and shapes. Moreover, the scalability of so-
nochemistry for fabricating nanomaterials at industrial scale is possible
due to its “one-pot” synthetic approach [3,4] (Fig. 1).
This special issue entitled “The Use of Power Ultrasound and
Sonochemistry for the Production of Energy Materials” contains 11
Fig. 1. Representative TEM images of (a) Pt nanoparticles, and (b) Pt nanoparticles formed directly sonoelectrochemically onto the carbon particles. The particle size
distribution of the carbon supported Pt nanoparticles is also shown in (c). Modified from [4].
Ultrasonics - Sonochemistry 64 (2020) 104851
Available online 02 November 2019
1350-4177/ © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
selected papers highlighting the use of ultrasound and sonochemistry
for the fabrication of energy materials, ranging from OER (Oxygen
Evolution Reaction), ORR (Oxygen Reduction Reaction) catalysts to
nanomaterials for SOFC (Solid Oxide Fuel Cell), supercapacitors, su-
percapattery and photocatalysis. I would like to take the opportunity to
thank all authors for their contributions as well as the assistance from
colleagues who reviewed these manuscripts. I would also like to thank
Prof. Ashokkumar and all Executive Editors of Ultrasonics Sonochemistry
for their continuous support.
[1] B.G. Pollet, The use of ultrasound for the fabrication of fuel cell materials, Int. J.
Hydrog. Energy 22 (2010) 1039–1059.
[2] B.G. Pollet, The use of power ultrasound for the production of PEMFC and PEMWE
catalysts and low-Pt loading and high-performing electrodes, Catalysts 9 (2019)
[3] Md Hujjatul Islam, Michael T.Y. Paul, Odne S. Burheim, Bruno G. Pollet, Recent
developments in the sonoelectrochemical synthesis of nanomaterials, Ultrason.
Sonochem. 59 (2019) 104711–104719.
[4] D.S. Karousos, K.I. Desdenakis, P.M. Sakkas, G. Sourkouni, B.G. Pollet, C. Argirusis,
Sonoelectrochemical one-pot synthesis of Pt–carbon black nanocomposite PEMFC
electrocatalyst, Ultrason. Sonochem. 35 (2017) 591–597.
Guest Editor
Bruno G. Pollet
Preface Ultrasonics - Sonochemistry 64 (2020) 104851
... Bimetal type nanomaterials and composites with nontoxic, chemically, and thermally more stable properties are other important structures that show electrocatalytic properties [17][18][19]. These materials are used in many fields, such as photodegradation, supercapacitors, solar cells, and electrocatalysis [20][21][22]. Furthermore, these nanomaterials with high surface area and active sites have recently been preferred as electrochemical sensors. ...
Full-text available
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. It is very important to regulate drug doses for cancer patients in the treatment of cancer with drugs. Determination of drugs used as anticancer at low concentrations and determination of them with high sensitivity is of great importance for the follow-up of these drugs. Electrochemical techniques offer a wide variety of detection techniques that provide user-friendly, low-cost, and real-time monitoring compared to other conventional methods and provide low sensitivity and detection limits. By modifying the electrode surfaces with various materials, their sensitivity and detection limits can be increased. This review focuses on new electrocatalytic approaches and current developments for the electrochemical determination of anticancer drugs. In addition, anticancer drugs are classified in detail. Electrochemical sensors used in studies in recent years and verification parameters such as detection limit, linear dynamic range, sensitivity are given in tables.
... Therefore, a method to accelerate *CO desorption while not enhancing the H 2 selectivity is greatly desired. The Pollet group has done some pioneering work on applying ultrasound to facilitate electrocatalysis [32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39][40]. They found that ultrasound can remove the hydrogen bubbles from the electrode surface resulting in high current density of hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) in mild acid electrolyte [37]. ...
Full-text available
Among the possible products of CO2 electrochemical reduction, CO plays a unique and vital role, which can be an ideal feedstock for further reduction to C2+ products, and also the important component of syngas that can be used as feedstock for value-added chemicals and fuels. However, it is still a challenge to tune the CO selectivity on Cu electrode. Here we newly construct an ultrasound-assisted electrochemical method for CO2 reduction, which can tune the selectivity of CO2 to CO from less than 10% to greater than 80% at -1.18 V versus (vs.) reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE). The partial current density of CO production is significantly improved by 15 times. By in-situ Raman study, the dominating factor for the improved CO production is attributed to the accelerated desorption of *CO intermediate. This work provides a facile method to tune the product selectivity in CO2 electrochemical reduction.
... The microbubbles grow and collapse almost instantaneously producing robust environment due to cavitational effects, which in turn is known to be responsible for reducing the particle size. Using accelerated ultrasound-assisted (sonochemical) synthesis and microwave heating approaches, we achieved the nanoparticles of NaFe(SO 4 ) 2 , primarily by restricting the nucleation and growth [31]. ...
Full-text available
NaFe(SO4)2 was successfully synthesised using a novel ultrasound-assisted wet-chemical method and uniform microwave heating approach, which is hitherto unreported. We were effective in reducing the reaction time from earlier reported 24h–12h. As a result of this reduced reaction time, which could inhibit coarsening of particles, we were able to synthesize the compound in the nanocrystalline form (≤350 nm). The analytical techniques confirmed the formation of NaFe(SO4)2 without any impurity concentrations. Further, the increase in sonication time hinted at a decrease in the overall particle size for both the compounds, which was verified using particle size analyser and SEM. The electronic transport properties of the compound was investigated using broadband dielectric and ac impedance studies over a wide frequency (1 Hz–1 MHz), and temperature (303 K–473 K) ranges. The activation energy of conduction was estimated to be 0.0372 and 0.0315 eV for this compound over the measured temperature ranges.
... Because, its unique properties like non-toxic, low-cost, chemically, and thermally more stable [10][11][12][13][14]. For that reason, it has remarkable applications in many types of fields; such as water splitting reactions, super-capacitors, dye-sensitized solar cells, photo-degradations, electrocatalysis, and many electronic devices [15][16][17][18]. Furthermore, some of the studies have focused on electrochemical sensor applications using metal titanates based nanocomposites as novel electrode materials. ...
In green approaches for electrocatalyst synthesis, sonochemical methods play a powerful role in delivering the abundant surface areas and nano-crystalline properties that are advantageous to electrocatalytic detection. In this article, we proposed the sphere-like and perovskite type of bimetal oxides which are synthesized through an uncomplicated sonochemical procedure. As a yield, the novel calcium titanate (orthorhombic nature) nanoparticles (CaTiO3 NPs) decorated graphene oxide (GOS) were obtained through simple ultrasonic irradiation by a high-intensity ultrasonic probe (Titanium horn; 50 kHz and 60 W). The GOS/CaTiO3 NC were characterized morphologically and chemically through the analytical methods (SEM, XRD, and EDS). Besides, as-prepared nanocomposites were modified on a GCE (glassy carbon electrode) and applied towards electrocatalytic and electrochemical sensing of chemotherapeutic drug flutamide (FD). Notably, FD is a crucial anticancer drug and also a non-steroidal anti-androgen chemical. Mainly, the designed and modified sensor has shown a wide linear range (0.015-1184 µM). A limit of detection was calculated as nanomolar level (5.7 nM) and sensitivity of the electrode is 1.073 μAμM⁻¹cm⁻². The GOS/CaTiO3 modified electrodes have been tested in human blood and urine samples towards anticancer drug detection.
... Sonochemistry is a powerful technique to produce battery materials with controlled sizes and shapes, which is a requirement in the micornization step [11]. Other industrial applications of sonochemistry include surface cleaning [12], wastewater purification by pathogen deactivation [13], deagglomeration [14], homogenization, and ultrasonic imaging in medicine. ...
To meet the objectives of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change nations are adopting policies to encourage consumers to purchase electric vehicles. Electrification of the automobile industry reduces greenhouse gases but active metals for the cathode—LiCoO2 and LiNiO2—are toxic and represent an environmental challenge at the end of their lifetime. LiFePO4 (LFP) is an attractive alternative that is non-toxic, thermally stable, and durable but with a moderate theoretical capacity and a low electrical conductivity. Commercial technologies to synthesize LFP are energy-intensive, produce waste that incurs cost, and involve multiple process steps. Here we synthesize LFP precursor with lignin and cellulose in a sonicated grinding chamber of a wet media mill. This approach represents a paradigm shift that introduces mechanochemistry as a motive force to react iron oxalate and lithium hydrogen phosphate at ambient temperature. Ultrasound-assisted wet media milling increases carbon dispersion and reduces the particle size simultaneously. The ultrasound is generated by a 20kHz,500W automatic tuning ultrasound probe. The maximum discharge rate of the LFP synthesized this way was achieved with cellulose as a carbon source, after 9h milling, at 70% ultrasound amplitude. After 2.5h of milling, the particle size remained constant but the crystal size continued to drop and reached 29nm. Glucose created plate-like particles, and cellulose and lignin produced spindle-shaped particles. Long mill times and high ultrasound amplitude generate smoother particle surfaces and the powder densifies after a spray drying step.
... Many review articles [19][20][21][22][23][24][25] are available on the sonochemical degradation of pollutants in aqueous environment. In this review, attention is given to ultrasound combined with heterogeneous AOPs (ultrasound/metal ions, ultrasound/metal oxides, and ultrasound/ photocatalysis) and homogeneous AOPs (ultrasound/ozone, ultrasound/H 2 O 2 , and ultrasound/persulfate). ...
The creation of the modern world requires many industrial sectors, however, sustainability needs to be considered while developing industries. In particular, organic pollutants generated by many of these industries contaminate the environment leading to health and other issues. Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) have been introduced to remove organic pollutants present in wastewater. Sonolytic degradation of organic pollutants is considered as one of the AOPs, however, this process has its limitations. In order to overcome the limitations, hybrid techniques involving ultrasound and other AOPs have been developed. That is, ultrasound combined with heterogeneous AOPs (ultrasound/metal ions, ultrasound/metal oxides, and ultrasound/photocatalysis) and homogeneous AOPs (ultrasound/ozone, ultrasound/H2O2, and ultrasound/persulfate) for the degradation/mineralization of organic pollutants. This review highlights the advantages of using hybrid techniques involving ultrasound for the degradation of organic pollutants in aqueous solutions.
Pt and Pt:Sn nanoparticles were prepared by sonochemical synthesis. Three different Pt:Sn ratios (1:1), (1:2), and (2:1) as well as two carbon supports (graphene oxide and Vulcan) were investigated on the electrochemical activity for methanol and ethanol oxidation reactions in acid medium. Characterization results indicated that the Pt:Sn composition modified the particle size and crystallinity. The oxygen content, morphology, and structure of graphene oxide support increased the Pt dispersion. The presence of Sn favors the methanol oxidation reaction reducing the formation of intermediates. Electrochemical results indicated that Pt:Sn/GO (2:1) with higher load of Pt presented superior specific activity for methanol and ethanol oxidation reactions compared to Pt/C and Pt/GO electrocatalysts. Graphic abstract (B. Ruiz-Camacho et al.): [Figure not available: see fulltext.] © 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to The Materials Research Society.
Full-text available
This short review paper highlights some of the research works undertaken over the years by Pollet’s research groups in Birmingham, Cape Town, and Trondheim, in the use of power ultrasound for the fabrication of low temperature fuel cell and electrolyzer catalysts and electrodes. Since the publication of ‘The use of ultrasound for the fabrication of fuel cell materials’ in 2010, there has been an upsurge of international interest in the use of power ultrasound, sonochemistry, and sonoelectrochemistry for the production of low temperature fuel cell and electrolyzer materials. This is because power ultrasound offers many advantages over traditional synthetic methods. The attraction of power ultrasound is the ability to create localized transient high temperatures and pressures, as a result of cavitation, in solutions at room temperature.
In recent years, the synthesis and use of nanoparticles have been of special interest among the scientific communities due to their unique properties and applications in various advanced technologies. The production of these materials at industrial scale can be difficult to achieve due to high cost, intense labour and use of hazardous solvents that are often required by traditional chemical synthetic methods. Sonoelectrochemistry is a hybrid technique that combines ultrasound and electrochemistry in a specially designed electrochemical setup. This technique can be used to produce nanomaterials with controlled sizes and shapes. The production of nanoparticles by sonoelectrochemistry as a technique offers many advantages: (i) a great enhancement in mass transport near the electrode, thereby altering the rate, and sometimes the mechanism of the electrochemical reactions, (ii) a modification of surface morphology through cavitation jets at the electrode-electrolyte interface, usually causing an increase of the surface area and (iii) a thinning of the electrode diffusion layer thickness and therefore ion depletion. The scalability of sonoelectrochemistry for producing nanomaterials at industrial scale is also very plausible due to its "one-pot" synthetic approach. Recent advancements in sonoelectrochemistry for producing various types of nanomaterials are briefly reviewed in this article. It is with hope that the presentation of these studies therein can generate more interest in the field to "catalyze" future investigations in novel nanomaterial development and industrial scale-up studies.
Simultaneous electrocatalytic Pt-nanoparticle synthesis and decoration of Vulcan XC-72 carbon black substrate was achieved in a novel one-step-process, combining galvanostatic pulsed electrodeposition and pulsed ultrasonication with high power, low-frequency (20 kHz) ultrasound. Aqueous chloroplatinic acid precursor baths, as well as carbon black suspensions in the former, were examined and decoration was proven by a combination of characterization methods, namely: Dynamic light scattering, transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy with EDX-analysis and cyclic voltammetry. In particular, PVP was shown to have a beneficial stabilizing effect against free nanoparticle aggregation, ensuring narrow size distributions of the nanoparticles synthesized, but is also postulated to prevent the establishment of a strong metal-substrate interaction. Current pulse amplitude was identified as the most critical nanoparticle size-determining parameters, while only small size particles, under 10nm, appeared to be attached to carbon black.
Fuel cell electrocatalysts Ultrasound Sonochemistry a b s t r a c t This paper reviews the use and advantages of ultrasound for the preparation of fuel cell materials which is currently an emerging research area. The review also focuses on recent studies of ultrasonic, sonochemical and sonoelectrochemical production of noble metals and fuel cell electrocatalysts, carbon supported electrocatalysts, fuel cell electrodes and membranes. It is shown that ultrasound can be used as an effective method for producing nanosize mono-and bi-metallics (<10 nm) in the absence and presence of surfactants and alcohols. In most cases, the formation of nano-metallics is attributed to radical species (H and OH) generated by water sonolysis induced by cavitation whereby the nano-metallic size strongly depends upon the ultrasonic frequency and time, the type of surfactant, alcohol and atmospheric gas. It is also shown that the sonochemical production of carbon-supported mono-and bi-metallic catalysts gives excellent electrochemical activity due to surface functionalisation of the support and better dispersion induced by ultrasound. These observations are mainly due to enhanced mass-transfer caused by asymmetrical collapse of cavitation bubbles at the surface support leading to the formation of high velocity jets of liquid being directed toward its surface. This jetting, together with acoustic streaming, is thought to lead to random punctuation and disruption of the mass-transfer at the surface.