About this Research Topic
Electrochemical technologies play a significant role in industrial manufacturing of chemicals and metals; these technologies are well established and optimized, with notable examples being chlor-alkali production and alkaline water electrolysis. Many more interesting and promising electrochemical pathways are emerging where the significant leap from studies of materials and reactions to device engineering is yet to be made. This Research Topic is focused on the methodologies being adopted to address this transition, and covers all areas of electrochemical engineering and scale-up, including aqueous and non-aqueous systems such as molten salts and ionic liquids.
The heterogeneity of electrochemical reactions means that, upon device scale-up, multiple effects gain prominence and may limit device performance. These include spatial distributions of potential and current, mass and heat transport etc. Engineering approaches for minimizing the negative effects and maximizing process efficiency and product yield are therefore of immense interest.
One illustrative example of an emerging area within electrochemical engineering is photoelectrochemical devices; considerable progress is yet to be made in the development and operation of scalable demonstration units. This is a fascinating challenge for electrochemical engineers, who will need to draw on input from multiple disciplines and account for: (photo)electrochemical reactions and undesirable conditions at which material degradation may occur, geometries of all components including any optical elements, non-uniformity of electrode kinetics, management of heat imparted by solar photons, changes in electrolyte (e.g. pH and H2O content), effect(s) of bubbles, product separation and transfer to energy storage systems etc. to achieve fully operable, optimized devices (and systems).
The aim of this Research Topic is to highlight any progress, and encourage more progress to be made, in electrochemical reactor and system development. Submissions are encouraged on a broad range of electrochemical technologies. Academic efforts in electrochemical engineering have a vital role to play in the propulsion of scientific discoveries from the laboratory into industry.
Potential topics for Original Research Papers, Reviews and Mini Reviews include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Electrochemical device engineering & optimization
• Assessment of monopolar & bipolar device configurations
• Numerical simulations of current and potential distributions
• Strategies for up-scaling 2D & 3D electrodes
• Mathematical / Multiphysics modelling of electrochemical systems
• Mass & heat transfer management in electrochemical reactors
• Life cycle and techno-economic analyses of novel electrochemical engineering systems.
Keywords: electrochemical processes, reactor design, electrochemical technology, characterization, photoelectrochemical devices, electrochemical reactor
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.