UNiversity of Antwerp

Research group

Applied Electrochemistry & Catalysis

OUR mission

The core research goal within ELCAT lies in the development of state-of-the art electrochemical reactors and catalysts, with a view towards large-scale industrial development in the field of industrial electrification, in a green and sustainable way.

The core research goal within ELCAT lies in the development of state-of-the art electrochemical reactors and catalysts, with a view towards large-scale industrial development in the field of industrial electrification, in a green and sustainable way.

WHAT WE DO

The first main topic, electrocatalysis, embodies the synthesis of electrocatalytic particles, necessary to lower the overpotential while at the same time improving/maintaining the desired catalytic selectivity towards the target product and stability to keep performing under long-term operation. 

The second main topic, electrosynthesis, deals with the electrochemical production of organic chemicals. Applying a current opens up the possibility to pursue alternative synthesis routes, which are generally of a more environmentally benign nature.

The third main topic, electrochemical reactor engineering, combines the electrochemical aspects of activity one and two into possible industrial applications. Through the development and optimization of innovative reactors, power consumption, selectivity and production levels can be improved.

Moving towards a decarbonized economy, the ambition to decouple industrial processes from fossil-fuel-derived energy sources will inevitably pass through the exploitation of renewable energy sources such as wind, water and sun. Chemical manufacturing is nowadays based on thermochemical processes which are highly energy-demanding, requiring large amounts of heat.

In the domain of electrochemical reactor engineering ELCAT focuses on development and optimisation of electrochemical reactors. Investigations in this research domain require a combined approach of know-how on (1) reactor design, (2) electrochemical analysis techniques, (3) electrocatalysis and (4) electrochemical synthesis.

Electrochemistry allows for a manifold of reactions to proceed on a laboratory or industrial scale under ambient conditions. At the same time, it benefits from a relatively high energy efficiency and selectivity, which can be tuned towards the desired product by adapting the operating potential and/or the electrocatalyst. The major drawback of electrochemical activation is the large overpotential which is required for many of these processes. In order to reduce those large overpotentials, we thus need a well suited electrocatalyst.

SERVICES TO INDUSTRY

ELECTROCHEMICAL REACTOR ENGINEERING

The growing interest in electrochemistry results in the upscaling of various reactions from simple to complex organic reactions. Nevertheless, the upscaling of these reactions requires a in-depth knowledge on reactor level which is a strength of ELCAT. We can help you design, build, and test the electrochemical reactor for your purpose. Furthermore, we are able to provide your business with detailed industrial plant layout for implementing this reactor.

ANALYTICAL CHARACTERIZATION

Measuring chemical products is the cornerstone of solving production issues. With our experience in tailor made analyses we can help you gain more insight in to your (bio)-chemical processes. Our high end industry-standard tools such as ICP-MS, GC(-MS), LC-MS and HPLC have already proven their efficacy in previous projects.

ELECTROCHEMICAL Analysis

In terms of electrochemical analysis, ELCAT can offer all electrochemical characterization methods (CV, LSV, RDE, CA, CP, EIS), potentiostats, bi-directional current sources and boosters combined with several in-line analysis techniques (GC-MS, LC-MS, ICP-MS) necessary to qualitatively and quantitatively determine the electrochemical performance.

INSTAGRAM

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