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Electrochemical Devices

An electrochemical device is a cell capable of either generating electrical energy from chemical reactions or using electrical energy to cause chemical reactions. The electrochemical device which generate an electric current are called voltaic cells or galvanic cells and those that generate chemical reactions, via electrolysis for example, are called electrolytic cells.

Electrolyzer for Water Splitting.png
Electrolyzer for Water Splitting

Electrolysis of water is the decomposition of water into oxygen and hydrogen gas due to the passage of an electric current. The reaction has a standard potential of −1.23 V, meaning it ideally requires a potential difference of 1.23 volts to split water.  In our lab, electrode and cell design was investigated for high performance water splitting.

CO2 electrolyzer.png
CO2 electrolyzer

The electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide is the conversion of carbon dioxide(CO2RR) to more reduced chemical species using electrical energy. The first examples of electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide are from the 19th century, when carbon dioxide was reduced to carbon monoxide using a zinc cathode.

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Stack System for CO2 Reduction Reaction (CO2RR)

Electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide represents a possible means of producing chemicals or fuels, converting carbon dioxide (CO2) to organic feedstocks such as formic acid (HCOOH), methanol (CH3OH), ethylene (C2H4), methane (CH4), and carbon monoxide (CO).  In our lab, electrode and cell design was researched to produce large amount of valuable chemicals.

Photo Electrochemical Devices.png
Photo Electrochemical Devices

Solar to fuel is a synthetic chemical fuel produced directly/indirectly from solar energy sunlight/solar heat through photochemical/photobiological, thermochemical (i.e., through the use of solar heat supplied by concentrated solar thermal energy to drive a chemical reaction), and electrochemical reaction. Light is used as an energy source, with solar energy being transduced to chemical energy, typically by reducing protons to hydrogen, or carbon dioxide to organic compounds. In our lab, electrode and cell design was investigated for increasing solar to fuel efficiency.

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