Flow Electrochemistry

Ask a chemistCategory: Flow chemistryFlow Electrochemistry
Bobby Bonsall asked 4 years ago

I am interested in learning more about flow electrochemistry. I’m working on making tethered electrocatalysts more reductively stable. I want to be able to pivot my graduate work into interesting new technology, and your flow electrochemistry sounds right up my alley. My main question is about your statement on controlling the number or electron equivalents by controlling the distance of the electrodes: is this another way of saying that you are controlling the potential of the working electrode? Also, how do you prevent products from being re-oxidized ore re-reduced if it can encounter both the cathode and the anode in your parallel plate set-up? Thanks for the blog, really interesting tech you have there.

1 Answers
Neal Munyebvu Staff answered 4 years ago

Hi Bobby.

Thanks for your question.

The electrode distances are set and can’t be changed; they are already at the optimum distance (as close together as possible). You vary the number of electrons (faradays per mole) by varying the current between the two electrodes. You can’t fully prevent the re-reduction/oxidation of products, but you can reduce it by speeding up the flow rate between the two electrodes. Optimizing a continuous flow electrochemistry reaction largely comes down to finding the right balance between the flow rate and the current in the electrodes (to avoid over-reduction/oxidation). I hope that helps – feel free to post further questions!