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1.
Efficiency of the grid energy storage technology based on iron-chloride material cycle
Uroš Luin, doctoral dissertation

Abstract: Future high-capacity energy storage technologies are crucial for a highly renewable energy mix, and their mass deployment must rely on cheap and abundant materials, such as iron chloride. The iron chloride electrochemical cycle (ICEC), suitable for long-term grid energy storage using a redox potential change of Fe2+/Fe, involves the electrolysis of a highly concentrated aqueous FeCl2 solution yielding solid iron deposits. For the high overall energy efficiency of the cycle, it is crucial maximizing the energy efficiency of the electrolysis process. The thesis presents a study of the influence of electrolysis parameters on energy efficiency, performed in an industrial-type electrolyzer system. We studied the conductivity of the FeCl2 solution as a function of concentration and temperature and correlated it with the electrolysis energy efficiency as a function of current density. The contribution of the resistance polarization increases with the current density, causing a decrease in overall energy efficiency. The highest energy efficiency of 89 ±3 % was achieved using 2.5 mol dm-3 FeCl2 solution at 70 °C and a current density of 0.1 kA m-2. In terms of the energy input per Fe mass, this means 1.88 Wh g-1. The limiting energy input per mass of the Fe-deposit, calculated by extrapolating experimental results toward Eocell potential, was found to be 1.76 Wh g-1. For optimal long-duration electrolysis efficiency and performance, the optimal catholyte concentration range is 1-2 mol dm-3 FeCl2. We performed in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy experimental studies to validate theoretical conclusions from literature related to the population and structure of Fe-species in the FeCl2 (aq) solution at different concentrations (1 - 4 mol dm-3) and temperatures (25 - 80 °C). This revealed that at low temperature and low FeCl2 concentration, the octahedral first coordination sphere around Fe is occupied by one Cl ion at a distance of 2.33 (±0.02) Å and five H2O at a distance of 2.095 (±0.005) Å. The structure of the ionic complex gradually changes with an increase in temperature and/or concentration. The apical H2O is substituted by a Cl ion to yield a neutral Fe[Cl2(H2O)4]0. The transition from the charged Fe[Cl(H2O)5]+ to the neutral Fe[Cl2(H2O)4]0 causes a significant drop in the solution conductivity, which well correlates with the existing state-of-the-art conductivity models. An additional steric impediment of the electrolytic cell is caused by the predominant neutral species present in the catholyte solution at high concentration. This correlates with poor electrolysis performance at a very high catholyte concentration (4 mol dm-3 FeCl2), especially at high current densities (> 1 kA m-2). The neutral Fe[Cl2(H2O)4]0 complex negatively affects the anion exchange membrane ion (Cl-) transfer and lowers the concentration of electroactive species (Fe[Cl(H2O)5]+) at the cathode surface. The kinetics of hydrogen evolution from the reaction between Fe powder and HCl acid was studied under the first-order reaction condition. The activation energy was determined to be 55.3 kJ mol-1.
Keywords: ICEC, Power-to-Solid, energy storage, hydrogen, ferrous chloride, electrolysis, Fe deposition, efficiency, XAS, structure and population, ionic species, ion association, conductivity
Published in RUNG: 18.04.2023; Views: 1561; Downloads: 26  (1 vote)
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2.
Electrolysis energy efficiency of highly concentrated FeCl[sub]2 solutions for power-to-solid energy storage technology
Uroš Luin, Matjaž Valant, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: An electrochemical cycle for the grid energy storage in the redox potential of Fe involves the electrolysis of a highly concentrated aqueous FeCl2 solution yielding solid iron deposits. For the high overall energy efficiency of the cycle, it is crucial to maximize the energy efficiency of the electrolysis process. Here we present a study of the influence of electrolysis parameters on the energy efficiency of such electrolysis, performed in an industrial-type electrolyzer. We studied the conductivity of the FeCl2 solution as a function of concentration and temperature and correlated it with the electrolysis energy efficiency. The deviation from the correlation indicated an important contribution from the conductivity of the ion-exchange membrane. Another important studied parameter was the applied current density. We quantitatively showed how the contribution of the resistance polarization increases with the current density, causing a decrease in overall energy efficiency. The highest energy efficiency of 89 ± 3% was achieved using 2.5 mol L−1 FeCl2 solution at 70 °C and a current density of 0.1 kA m−2. In terms of the energy input per Fe mass, this means 1.88 Wh g−1. The limiting energy input per mass of the Fe deposit was found to be 1.76 Wh g−1.
Keywords: electrolysis, ferrous chloride, iron deposition, energy efficiency
Published in RUNG: 16.02.2022; Views: 1891; Downloads: 75  (1 vote)
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3.
Structure and population of complex ionic species in FeCl[sub]2 aqueous solution by X-ray absorption spectroscopy
Uroš Luin, Iztok Arčon, Matjaž Valant, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Technologies for mass production require cheap and abundant materials such as ferrous chloride (FeCl2). The literature survey shows the lack of experimental studies to validate theoretical conclusions related to the population of ionic Fe-species in the aqueous FeCl2 solution. Here, we present an in situ X-ray absorption study of the structure of the ionic species in the FeCl2 aqueous solution at different concentrations (1–4 molL−1) and temperatures (25–80 ◦C). We found that at low temperature and low FeCl2 concentration, the octahedral first coordination sphere around Fe is occupied by one Cl ion at a distance of 2.33 (±0.02) Å and five water molecules at a distance of 2.095 (±0.005) Å. The structure of the ionic complex gradually changes with an increase in temperature and/or concentration. The apical water molecule is substituted by a chlorine ion to yield a neutral Fe[Cl2(H2O)4]0. The observed substitutional mechanism is facilitated by the presence of the intramolecular hydrogen bonds as well as entropic reasons. The transition from the single charged Fe[Cl(H2O)5]+ to the neutral Fe[Cl2(H2O)4]0 causes a significant drop in the solution conductivity, which well correlates with the existing conductivity models.
Keywords: structure, population, ionic species, aqueous ferrous chloride, in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy
Published in RUNG: 24.01.2022; Views: 1935; Downloads: 42  (1 vote)
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