How to Model Ion-Exchange Membranes and Donnan Potentials

Henrik Ekström August 29, 2018

Ion-exchange membranes are widely employed within the field of electrochemical engineering. In polymer electrolyte fuel cells and vanadium flow batteries, they are used to conduct ions and at the same time prevent reactants and electrons from crossing between the two flow compartments. The ability to promote the passage of ions of either positive or negative charge is also used in electrodialysis for cleaning water from ions. In this blog post, we will explore the ion-selective capabilities of ion-exchange membranes.

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Brianne Costa June 14, 2018

After World War II, a boom in the economy caused Americans to buy a record number of cars (leading to serious levels of pollution). Today, we have more energy-efficient vehicles — such as hybrid and electric options — and another “boom” is occurring, this time for autonomous vehicles (AVs). Again, pollution is an issue, but in a different way: There’s a debate over whether self-driving cars should have hybrid engines to maximize profit or all-electric engines to minimize pollution.

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Bridget Cunningham December 7, 2016

Traditional lithium-ion batteries use an electrolyte based on a flammable liquid solvent, which can cause them to catch fire if they overheat. In recent years, nonflammable solid electrolytes have been investigated as an alternative to improve battery design and safety. Optimizing this technology for industrial applications, however, requires a better understanding of the electrochemical processes inside the device. Simulation serves as a valuable tool for this purpose, helping to realize the use of solid-state lithium-ion batteries in the near future.

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Scott Smith August 24, 2016

Resistive and capacitive effects are fundamental to the understanding of electrochemical systems. The resistances and capacitances due to mass transfer can be represented through physical equations describing the corresponding fundamental phenomena, like diffusion. Further, when considering the resistive or capacitive behavior of double layers, thin films, and reaction kinetics, such effects can be treated simply through physical conditions relating electrochemical currents and voltages. Lastly, resistances and capacitances from external loading circuits can easily be represented in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Guest Matteo Lualdi August 23, 2016

Today, guest blogger Matteo Lualdi of resolvent ApS, a COMSOL Certified Consultant, discusses the benefits of creating a simulation app to analyze a solid oxide fuel cell stack. For many businesses, numerical modeling and simulation are valuable tools at various stages of the design workflow, from product development to optimization. Apps further extend the reach of these tools, hiding complex multiphysics models beneath easy-to-use interfaces. Here’s a look at one such example: a solid oxide fuel cell stack app.

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Lexi Carver December 28, 2015

Corrosion is one of the most serious factors affecting the transportation industry. In an effort to minimize its impact, a German research institute and the manufacturers of Mercedes-Benz joined forces to investigate the corrosion occurring in automotive rivets and sheet metal. Using COMSOL Multiphysics simulation, they were able to study corrosion’s effects on car components.

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Tommy Zavalis July 14, 2015

Batteries generally operate through numerous processes that depend on even more parameters. How can you find out more about what’s going on within them? One approach is to look at the cell’s electrical impedance. The Lithium-Ion Battery Impedance demo app, available in the Application Gallery, can be used to interpret the impedance of a specific lithium-ion battery design with minimal effort. It can also help parameterize the system, a useful step for setting up accurate time-dependent models in the future.

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Melanie Pfaffe February 10, 2014

When designing electrochemical cells, we consider the three classes of current distribution in the electrolyte and electrodes: primary, secondary, and tertiary. We recently introduced the essential theory of current distribution. Here, we illustrate the different current distributions with a wire electrode example to help you choose between the current distribution interfaces in COMSOL Multiphysics for your electrochemical cell simulation.

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Edmund Dickinson February 7, 2014

In electrochemical cell design, you need to consider three current distribution classes in the electrolyte and electrodes. These are called primary, secondary, and tertiary, and refer to different approximations that apply depending on the relative significance of solution resistance, finite electrode kinetics, and mass transport. Here, we provide a general introduction to the concept of current distribution and discuss the topic from a theoretical stand-point.

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Edmund Dickinson June 27, 2013

During my time as a PhD student, a blue “Chemical Landmark” plaque was fitted to the building a couple of hundred yards down the road from my lab. The plaque commemorates the achievements of the researchers who made the lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery viable. Whether or not you know about the electrochemistry of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, you probably rely on one. We carry them around in our phones and laptops, and ride in cars and planes that use them for power. […]

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