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Electrocatalysis is the study of the catalyst material used at the electrode surface, or as the electrode, in an electrochemical reaction. The rate and mechanism of the electrode reactions at the electrode-electrolyte boundary also form part of the study.

Aims of Electrocatalysis

Electrocatalysts participate in the redox reactions by increasing the oxidation or reduction rate. This essentially enables a less energetic pathway for chemical reactions to occur at the surface of an electrode.

Electrocatalysis reaction rate depends on several factors including exchange current density (j0 ). Evaluation of the electrocatalyst material can be carried out by varying an externally applied potential and measuring the electrode reaction rate.

The reactions take place at the boundary of the electrolyte and the electrode and understanding this process is critical to advance development of fuel cells energy storage devices.

Applications of Electrocatalysis

Electrocatalysis has a range of applications such as:

  • Organic electrosynthesis
  • Electrochemical reactions
  • Galvanoplasty
  • Electrode sensors
  • Battery preparations

The most frequently occurring application of electrocatalysis is in fuel cells, in which one of the scopes is the potential for high duration experiments without the danger of contamination or poisoning of the electrode surfaces. Polymer electrolyte fuel cells are one of the most popular devices for low-to-medium power density sizes.

Advances in technology which bear relevance to electrocatalysis, such as spectroscopic or hybrid methods with new theoretical considerations, create the possibility of evolution to a new projection of the electrocatalytic reaction. Electrocatalysis is an interfacial approach to a constantly-changing electronic to ionic conductor interphase with verifiable technical applications.

Electrocatalysis from Hiden Analytical

Hiden Analytical has created a series of quadrupole mass spectrometers which are suited with electrochemical testing techniques to assist researchers and developers with off-gas and dissolved species analysis for electrocatalysis research.

Electrocatalysis provides the information for biomass derivatives to be altered into products which are valuable and precursors through partial oxidation. To design selective electrocatalysts with the greatest possible catalytic activity, reaction pathways are created. Online electrochemical mass spectrometry (OLEMS) employs a unique flow-through electrolysis cell which directly samples electrocatalytic process reaction pathways in real-time.

To ascertain a stronger comprehension of the reaction kinetics taking place at the interface in electrochemical cells is critical for keeping track of and enhancing fuel cell performance for the increase of feedstocks derived from biomass.

At Hiden Analytical, we produce a variety of gas analyzers which include custom-built electrolysis cells designed for understanding electrocatalysis. To find out more, contact us today.