" Exploring the potential of emerging manufacturing technologies in electrochemistry holds great promise within the MiEl project. Through the use of prototyping, the initiative aims to unravel the complex set of processes taking place in the electrochemical cell, while concurrently optimizing cell architecture. This dual approach combines theoretical exploration with hands-on prototyping with the ultimate goal of bridging the gap for industrial applications. "
Pedro Arias Villarroel
MiEl Doctoral Candidate

About my academic career

About my thesis - Multiphase electrosynthesis

Exploring the potential of 3D printing technology for designing and rapidly prototyping electrolyser cells is a promising avenue within the MiEl project, that can harvest results in terms of understanding of the electrochemical cell behaviour, optimizing cell architecture, and providing new opportunities for sensor coupling, among others:

The first aspect, identifying the most suitable materials for the printing process, considering the alkalinity of the media, pressure, and temperature, together with ease in printing and general properties of the material. Also, exploring the feasibility of printing more complex structures such as catalyst layers or porous structures for catalyst deposition.

The second focus involves examining the architecture of the cell and how this may affect the process performance. Leveraging the flexibility of 3D printing, diverse cell configurations will be tested to determine the most efficient and robust design for enhanced productivity.

The third aspect addresses the integration of sensors into the cell. Incorporating sensors into the cell offers a valuable means of understanding the electrolyser’s behavior under varied conditions. Through this approach, concentration, temperature or pressure profiles can be drawn and analysed.

Simultaneously with cell prototyping, an emphasis will be placed on modelling the entire CO2 to CO conversion system. The models derived from this effort will provide insights on what conditions are particularly important and guide the direction of the prototyping efforts.