Electro-organic synthesis without supporting electrolyte: Possibilities of solid polymer electrolyte technology

Jörissen, J.
October 2003
Journal of Applied Electrochemistry;Oct2003, Vol. 33 Issue 10, p969
Academic Journal
The application of ion exchange membranes as solid polymer electrolytes (SPE) in fuel cells is state-of-the-art. This technology needs no supporting electrolyte; consequently it can be applied for electro-organic syntheses in order to save process steps. In this case the process is not predetermined to a maximized energy efficiency so that the selection of the cell design, of the electrode materials and of the operating conditions can be focused on a high selectivity of the electrode reactions. The electro-osmotic stream, which is caused by the solvation shells of the ions during their migration through the membrane, and hence is a typical property of SPE technology, has a significant effect on the electrode reactions. It generates enhanced mass transfer at the electrodes, which is beneficial for reaction selectivity. It can be influenced by the choice of, and possibly by the preparation of, the membrane. An additional remarkable advantage of SPE technology is the exceptional long durability of oxide coated electrodes. By combination of several process engineering methods stable operation of SPE cells has been realized, even for examples of non-aqueous reaction systems. Experiments up to 6000 h duration and in cells of up to 250 cm2 membrane area show the potential for industrial application.


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