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Electrochemical Engineering Blog Posts

Electroplating: How the U.S. Mint Makes a Penny

April 17, 2014

What’s a penny made of? Though they appear to be solid copper coins, they actually don’t contain much copper at all these days. Instead, the U.S. Mint saves money by applying only a veneer of valuable metal onto a less expensive one. Have you ever thought about the manufacturing process by which this is achieved? Let’s find out.

Which Current Distribution Interface Do I Use?

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.

Theory of Current Distribution

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.

A Lithium-ion Battery Analysis at INES-CEA

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. […]

Electrochemistry, from Electroanalysis to Industrial Electrolysis

June 12, 2013

My colleague, Edmund Dickinson, recently blogged about cyclic voltammetry, and how this can be modeled. It was a fantastic blog entry, as it really described the application, and how to implement such models in COMSOL Multiphysics. While Edmund has a background in electroanalysis, where cyclic voltammetry, potentiometry, and electrochemical impedance are important tools, I had a different but similar life before COMSOL, working within industrial electrolysis. For both of us, the new Electrochemistry Module would have been the perfect tool […]

Learn How to Model Electrochemistry with an Orange Battery Tutorial

June 3, 2013

Did your chemistry teacher use an orange or lemon to demonstrate the concept of a battery, back in the day? You might remember how she magically produced electricity by sticking a couple of metal nails into the citrus fruit, as the whole class watched in awe. What if we now used simulation tools to demonstrate how an orange battery works, and then use that as an intro to electrochemistry modeling?

Modeling Electroanalysis: Cyclic Voltammetry

May 27, 2013

If you’re not an electrochemist, chances are you’ve never come across cyclic voltammetry. But look at any electrochemical journal, conference proceedings, or company website for manufacturers of electrochemical sensors. Somewhere near the front, you’ll see a distinctive “double-peaked” graph.

Why Model Electrochemical Applications?

April 18, 2013

It’s always been hard to place the field of electrochemistry into a more traditional engineering field. Departments and institutions that focus on electrochemical applications can be found within the faculties of Chemical Engineering, Physics, Materials Science, Physical Chemistry, and even Civil Engineering and Electrical Engineering. I believe this is because electrochemistry is heavily involved in applications that are quite varied — and in some ways quite new. Electrochemical applications need to be studied before they can be understood and optimized, […]


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