Applied Electrochemistry and Catalysis
Applied Electrochemistry and Catalysis


Ongoing projects:

Enhancing electrolyzer and Zirfon seperators for alkaline electrolysis (ELECZIR)

The project aims at developing innovative continuous flow technologies with as prospective industrial implementation. Flow technology is especially useful for continuous processes and can be implemented at different levels going from efficient and economic screening of process conditions to process intensification. At the moment, the application of flow technology is mainly limited to the most typical and simple chemical reactions…

Optimisation of bubble removal in alkaline water electrolysis at industrial current densities

Hydrogen is considered essential for the transition towards carbon neutrality. Currently, however, most hydrogen is derived from fossil fuels, because this is cheaper than producing hydrogen renewably through electrolysis. This cost gap currently impedes the adoption of renewable hydrogen and significant cost reductions are necessary to make it competitive. Crucially, the cost of cell stack components accounts for about half…

Development of a fast screening, electrochemical tool to map and understand corrosion inhibitors for heat transfer fluids

In a first phase of the project, an electrochemical protocol will be established to evaluate the corrosion behaviour of a couple of metals typically applied in heating/cooling systems (i.e. copper, brass, solder, steel, cast iron and aluminium) in the presence of commercially available and commonly applied heat transfer fluid formulations (i.e. Proviflow N, L and FG). This set of tests…

Redox flow batteries charging tomorrow’s world through the in-depth understanding and enhanced control over battery hydrodynamics (RECHARGE)

Electrochemical energy storage is essential if we wish to increase the usage of intermittent energy sources such as windmills and solar panels. With intermittent energy sources it is crucial that energy can be stored to meet demand when production is too low. When targeting stationary storage with large capacity and long storage times, redox flow batteries stand out. However, in…

In-depth understanding of multiphase mass transfer in CO2 electrolyzers through application of engineered, ordered reactor components (TRANSCEND)

To avoid catastrophic climate change, European countries are bound by the European Climate Law to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to become climate-neutral by 2050. To meet this necessary but steep target, radical progress in the technology for carbon capture and utilization (CCU) is needed. Electrochemical reduction of CO2 (eCO2R) is key to aid in the reduction of carbon levels…

Valorisation of CO2 waste streams into polyester for a sustainable circular textile industry (Threading-CO2)

The textile industry is the fourth largest industry in the world with the global volume of fiber production for textile manufacturing reaching 110 million metric tons in 2020. At the same time, the textile industry is one of the most polluting industries worldwide with the highest greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions corresponding to 10% of the global emissions. Polyester (PET) is…

Development of a molten salt electrofining process suited for the recycling of HALEU fuel production scraps

High performance research reactors (HPRRs) are vital instruments in materials research, nuclear physics and nuclear medicine. Their high neutron flux irradiation capabilities were historically obtained by the use of HEU fuel. In light of nonproliferation there is a strong drive to convert existing HPRRs to high assay LEU (HALEU) and provide HALEU fuel solutions for future HPRRs. Innovative manufacturing techniques…

Towards improved performance of flow batteries through electrode design and stability analysis

Given that the share of renewable energy sources in the world’s power mix is steadily increasing in response to treaties and actions against climate change, energy storage systems have become a crucial player to offset the intermittence coupled with renewable energy sources and allow to match production and demand. In this respect, flow batteries (FBs) offer an enormous potential for…

Upscaling effects on the purity of circular formic acid for ecological descaler production

The awareness of society in terms of sustainability and the fragility of ecosystems and our environment has pushed governments to pass legislation imposing stricter product requirements on industry. Companies are therefore looking for alternative feedstocks with less impact on the environment. This implies that the origin of these feedstocks has to be renewable or they have to be recycled from…

Past projects:

NuCryPept-control – Control of Nucleation and Crystallization of Oligopeptides in Flow

The NuCryPept-control project aims to create tools for the simplification of parameter-space exploration in the development of oligopeptide nucleation and crystallization. We are developing precise and accurate control technologies for various parameters in the crystallization process (pH, composition, concentration, temperature) that not only work on microscale, but in addition are scalable, so that the same technologies used for screening can also be applied in manufacturing to unburden, through crystallization, the purification process of biomacromolecules, which is currently expensive and inefficient.

FLOWER POWER: Design and use of an electrochemical flow reactor based on the COSTA™ technology

The goal of the project is to develop a prototype electrochemical reactor based on the COSTA™ technology. Current commercially available electrochemical reactors demonstrate significant restrictions in terms of mass transfer efficiency, a critical process parameter for heterogeneous catalyzed processes (i.e. electrochemistry). Having proved advantageous for the development of photochemical reactors, the COSTA™ technology will enable us to overcome the limitations of the current commercial electrochemical reactors, and will permit a wide implementation of the developed reactor in the pharmaceutical and fine-chemical industry. While photo- and electrochemistry show much similarity (e.g….

Up-scaling of the zero-gap CO2 electrolyzer

In light of climate change, we started in 2018 with the IOF SBO STACkED project that aims at identifying the most optimal CO2 electrolyzer configuration. The results direct obtained from this project have in October 2019 led to the start of a patent application process with the De Clercq & Partners patenting agency to protect the CO2 electrolyzer configuration.

Intensification of CO2 capture processes

In order to limit the effects of global warming, introduction of CO2 capture technology is absolutely and urgently required. However, the high cost and technological limitations of available CO2 separation technologies restrict their successful and general industrial deployment in the CO2 capture and utilization (CCU) context.

In this short project, we aim at the development of new and more efficient, sustainable and economically viable CO2 capture and separation technology.

Bringing the Electrocatalytic Conversion of CO2 to formic acid towards an industrial feasibility by unraveling the fundamental role of the supporting Material (BECO2Me)

Lowering the atmospheric CO2 concentrations and reducing anthropogenic CO2 emissions is one of the greatest scientific challenges faced by the current generation. A possible strategy is to use H2O and CO2 as renewable feedstock for the production of fuels and chemicals. Simultaneously, excess electricity, generated by renewable energy sources, can be utilized to drive these reactions. In this PhD project, CO2 will be electrochemically converted to formic acid. Currently, the electrochemical reduction of CO2 is not yet industrially viable, mainly due to the robustness of the envisaged technology. While a…

Reduction Oxidation Recycling (RedOxRec)

The project aims at providing a working use-case on the recovery of noble metals from production waste of electronics production sites, in order to increase resource efficiency through recycling and this through the development and validation of a small to medium scale and environmental-friendly chemical extraction process based on electrodeposition.