We report experiments on a concentration cell with zinc electrodes and ZnCl2 solutions at different concentrations, separated by a porous diaphragm. The cell is aimed at the conversion of the free energy associated to the concentration difference into electrical energy, for renewable and clean energy applications. Usually, the diffusion of the solute across the diaphragm constitutes a waste of free energy, which impairs the voltage generation of the concentration cell with respect to other well-known techniques that work quasi-reversibly, such as reverse electrodialysis or the “mixing entropy battery.” Quite surprisingly, we find that the voltage produced by our concentration cell is significantly higher than the voltage obtained with the other quasi-reversible techniques. We show that the surplus voltage comes from the active transformation of the mixing free energy into electrical energy performed by the liquid junction, and we show the connection with the negative apparent transference number of the zinc ion. This fortunate consequence of using ZnCl2 solution is ultimately related to the formation of complexes. We present the results of a cell for power production, which has excellent performances with respect to known salinity-difference-power methods.

Boosting the voltage of a salinity-gradient-power electrochemical cell by means of complex-forming solutions / M. Marino, L. Misuri, A. Carati, D. Brogioli. - In: APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS. - ISSN 0003-6951. - 105:3(2014 Jul 21), pp. 033901.1-033901.4. [10.1063/1.4890976]

Boosting the voltage of a salinity-gradient-power electrochemical cell by means of complex-forming solutions

A. Carati;
2014

Abstract

We report experiments on a concentration cell with zinc electrodes and ZnCl2 solutions at different concentrations, separated by a porous diaphragm. The cell is aimed at the conversion of the free energy associated to the concentration difference into electrical energy, for renewable and clean energy applications. Usually, the diffusion of the solute across the diaphragm constitutes a waste of free energy, which impairs the voltage generation of the concentration cell with respect to other well-known techniques that work quasi-reversibly, such as reverse electrodialysis or the “mixing entropy battery.” Quite surprisingly, we find that the voltage produced by our concentration cell is significantly higher than the voltage obtained with the other quasi-reversible techniques. We show that the surplus voltage comes from the active transformation of the mixing free energy into electrical energy performed by the liquid junction, and we show the connection with the negative apparent transference number of the zinc ion. This fortunate consequence of using ZnCl2 solution is ultimately related to the formation of complexes. We present the results of a cell for power production, which has excellent performances with respect to known salinity-difference-power methods.
zinc ; electrodes ; free energy ; diffusion ; solution processes
Settore CHIM/02 - Chimica Fisica
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/240742
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