announcement

Coronavirus Updates

View Penn State information on COVID-19 >>

Undergraduate students studying the fundamental properties of electrochemical energy conversion systems.

Scientists carry out electrochemical studies on physicochemical systems for a variety of reasons including to obtain thermodynamic data, understand the kinetics of system evolution of degradation, or analyze a solution for trace amounts of chemical compounds. There are also investigations in which the system's electrochemical properties themselves are of primary interest, for example, the design of new power generation systems (e.g., fuel cells and batteries) and synthesis of new materials such as metal alloys or oxide films.

The Electrochemical Technologies Program at the EMS Energy Institute strives to be at the forefront of fundamental and applied research in a variety of electrochemical and materials science technologies. It aims to promote and facilitate the use of electrochemical probes and systems in areas of science and technology important for society, in particular, fuel cells and electrolysis, materials for deep well drilling, hydrothermal synthesis of new materials, and electrophoresis of nanoparticles. The specific expertise of this program is related to interfacial electrochemistry and corrosion in extreme environments (e.g. high temperature and pressure, high concentration).

Research

Electrochemical Technologies Director

Benchtop redox flow battery

Redox Flow Batteries and Electrochemical Energy Conversion Systems

  • Benchtop redox flow battery & water electrolysis systems for elevated temperature and pressure operations
  • In-situ spectro-electrochemical test systems (UV-VIS and FTIR) and membrane characterization systems
  • Rotating ring-disc and disc electrode systems for carbon-based and metals-based electrocatalysis studies
  • Solid oxide and proton exchange fuel cell stations

Fuel Cells, Electrolysis, and Batteries

  • Proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) studies at elevated temperatures and low relative humidity.
  • Utilization of alternative fuels for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC).
  • Novel SOFC liquid metal anode materials.
  • Development and characterization of new SOFC and PEMFC membranes for operating at elevated temperatures.
  • Development and optimization of the hybrid Cu-Cl thermochemical cycle for hydrogen production.
  • Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy for interfacial and corrosion studies.
Graduate student Balaji Raman and Dr. Derek Hall are deciding on how best to position a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell test system.
Graduate student Tim Duffy is aligning electrodes before taking electrophoretic measurements.

High Temperature Nano-Electrophoresis

  • Zeta potential of nanoparticles at elevated temperature and pressure
  • Electrical double layer at mineral-water interface in hydrothermal environments
  • Electrophoretic deposition of particulate materials in hydrothermal systems

Corrosion and Phase Equilibria in Extreme Environments

  • Electrochemical monitoring and testing at high temperatures, pressures, and salinities
  • In situ measurement of corrosion in extreme conditions
  • Measurement and modeling of phase equilibria for brines and supercritical fluids
  • Investigation of environments related to deep well drilling, geothermal power generation, and CO2 sequestration
Corrosion and phase equilibria in extreme eEnvironments equipment
Electrochemical sensors and probes

Electrochemical Sensors and Probes

  • High temperature pH sensors
  • High temperature reference electrodes
  • Corrosion and conductivity probes in high temperature subcritical and supercritical fluids

Computational Modeling

  • Equation of state and thermodynamics of multi-phase multicomponent systems
  • Simulation of electrochemical processes and systems
  • Molecular-statistical, irreversible, and chemical thermodynamic modeling of aqueous systems
computational modeling
Kw Calculator

Kw Calculator

  • Try using the on-line the Ionization Constant of Water Kw Calculator

CO2-Brine Phase Equilibria Model

  • Try using the on-line CO2-Brine Phase Equilibria model