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1.
Performance of copper - based catalysts for electrochemical CO2 reduction
Stefan Popović, 2023, doktorska disertacija

Opis: The industrial era has brought a never-ending problem to civilization through the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) while extracting energy from fossil fuels for a variety of processes. Among different GHGs, carbon dioxide (CO2) stood out as one of the most impactful and dangerous gases causing climatic disasters around the globe. However, CO2 as the abundant C1 building block, through the conversion pathways gives a plethora of opportunities to convert it into a wide range of commercial products and applications. The holistic approach among different conversion pathways is the electrochemical reduction of CO2 (eCO2R), ideally powered by renewable energy from intermittent sources such as wind and solar power. A silver bullet of the process is to find a catalyst that is active, selective, and stable. Copper has been recognized as the only monometallic catalyst that can produce products that require a transfer of >2e-. However, in recent years the increased awareness of its reconstructive nature under eCO2RR-relevant conditions multiplied the complexity of the parameters that can influence the reaction. Therefore overall thesis's approach to studying copper-based catalysts is based to understand the reconstructive aspect and the stability of Cu-based catalysts, and deeply comprehend their relationship with the activity/selectivity. Chapter 1 gives an introduction to the recent activities in the field of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCSU) technologies, the fundaments of CO2 as a molecule, and its pathway toward state-of-the-art discoveries in the eCO2 R reaction. Afterward, the thesis focuses on the main experimental technique to produce nanostructured copper-based materials, namely, electrodeposition (Chapter 2). A big part of the thesis focuses on the establishment of an electrochemical setup for activity/selectivity measu rement. The setup consists of two parts: 1) construction of the custom-made gas-tight sandwich-type electrochemical cell and 2) optimization of the online gas and ex-situ liquid product detection. After the establishment of the reliable electrochemical setup, Chapter 3 focuses on electrochemically -grown Cu2O nanocubes catalyst and how the reconstructive nature induced by a particular electrochemical protocol influences on boost in activity/selectivity for methane production. The last part of the thesis consists contribution to the fundamental understanding of the degradation mechanisms and stability of Cu -based catalysts under eCO2RR conditions. A unique ex-situ approach, mirrored in identical location scanning electron microscopy (IL-SEM) method is employed to study electrodeposited spherical half-micron particles on the glassy carbon rotating disk electrode (GC-RDE). With this evidence, we could interpret the observed structural changes as two separate electrochemical processes occurring one after another, namely copper dissolution from pre-oxidized native nanoparticles and subsequent (electro -) redeposition of the dissolved copper species in a form of n ew smaller Cu fragments.
Ključne besede: electrocatalysts, electrochemical CO2 reduction, copper nanoparticles, IL-SEM, stability, degradation
Objavljeno v RUNG: 14.11.2023; Ogledov: 497; Prenosov: 9
.pdf Celotno besedilo (5,55 MB)

2.
3.
Efficiency of the grid energy storage technology based on iron-chloride material cycle
Uroš Luin, doktorska disertacija

Opis: 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.
Ključne besede: ICEC, Power-to-Solid, energy storage, hydrogen, ferrous chloride, electrolysis, Fe deposition, efficiency, XAS, structure and population, ionic species, ion association, conductivity
Objavljeno v RUNG: 18.04.2023; Ogledov: 1160; Prenosov: 23  (1 glas)
.pdf Celotno besedilo (4,34 MB)

4.
Effect of the Morphology of the High-Surface-Area Support on the Performance of the Oxygen-Evolution Reaction for Iridium Nanoparticles
Leonard Moriau, Marjan Bele, Živa Marinko, Francisco Ruiz-Zepeda, Gorazd Koderman, Martin Šala, Angelija Kjara Šurca, Janez Kovač, Iztok Arčon, Primož Jovanovič, Nejc Hodnik, Luka Suhadolnik, 2021, izvirni znanstveni članek

Opis: The development of affordable, low-iridium-loading, scalable, active, and stable catalysts for the oxygen-evolution reaction (OER) is a requirement for the commercialization of proton-exchange membrane water electrolyzers (PEMWEs). However, the synthesis of high-performance OER catalysts with minimal use of the rare and expensive element Ir is very challenging and requires the identification of electrically conductive and stable high-surface-area support materials. We developed a synthesis procedure for the production of large quantities of a nanocomposite powder containing titanium oxynitride (TiONx) and Ir. The catalysts were synthesized with an anodic oxidation process followed by detachment, milling, thermal treatment, and the deposition of Ir nanoparticles. The anodization time was varied to grow three different types of nanotubular structures exhibiting different lengths and wall thicknesses and thus a variety of properties. A comparison of milled samples with different degrees of nanotubular clustering and morphology retention, but with identical chemical compositions and Ir nanoparticle size distributions and dispersions, revealed that the nanotubular support morphology is the determining factor governing the catalyst’s OER activity and stability. Our study is supported by various state-of-the-art materials’ characterization techniques, like X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, scanning and transmission electron microscopies, Xray powder diffraction and absorption spectroscopy, and electrochemical cyclic voltammetry. Anodic oxidation proved to be a very suitable way to produce high-surface-area powder-type catalysts as the produced material greatly outperformed the IrO2 benchmarks as well as the Ir-supported samples on morphologically different TiONx from previous studies. The highest activity was achieved for the sample prepared with 3 h of anodization, which had the most appropriate morphology for the effective removal of oxygen bubbles.
Ključne besede: electrocatalysis, oxygen-evolution reaction, TiONx-Ir powder catalyst, iridium nanoparticles, anodic oxidation, morphology−activity correlation
Objavljeno v RUNG: 04.01.2021; Ogledov: 2383; Prenosov: 0
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5.
Electrochemical dissolution of iridium and iridium oxide particles in acidic media : transmission electron microscopy, electrochemical flow cell coupled to inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and X-ray absorption spectroscopy study
Primož Jovanovič, Nejc Hodnik, Francisco Ruiz-Zepeda, Iztok Arčon, Barbara Jozinović, Milena Zorko, Marjan Bele, Martin Šala, Vid Simon Šelih, Samo B. Hočevar, Miran Gaberšček, 2017, izvirni znanstveni članek

Opis: Iridium based particles as the most promising proton exchange membrane electrolyser electrocatalysts were investigated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and by coupling of electrochemical flow cell (EFC) with online inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS). Additionally, a thin-film rotating disc electrode (RDE), an identical location transmission and scanning electron microscopy (IL-TEM and IL-SEM) as well as an X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) studies have been performed. Extremely sensitive online time-and potential-resolved electrochemical dissolution profiles revealed that iridium particles dissolved already well below oxygen evolution reaction (OER) potentials, presumably induced by iridium surface oxidation and reduction processes, also referred to as transient dissolution. Overall, thermally prepared rutile type IrO2 particles (T-IrO2) are substantially more stable and less active in comparison to as prepared metallic (A-Ir) and electrochemically pretreated (E-Ir) analogues. Interestingly, under OER relevant conditions E-Ir particles exhibit superior stability and activity owing to the altered corrosion mechanism where the formation of unstable Ir(>IV) species is hindered. Due to the enhanced and lasting OER performance, electrochemically pre-oxidized E-Ir particles may be considered as the electrocatalyst of choice for an improved low temperature electrochemical hydrogen production device, namely a proton exchange membrane electrolyser.
Ključne besede: Iridium Oxide Par-ticles, Electrochemical Dissolution of Iridium, Ir L3-edge XANES
Objavljeno v RUNG: 23.08.2017; Ogledov: 3716; Prenosov: 0
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6.
Atomically resolved dealloying of structurally ordered Pt nanoalloy as an oxygen reduction reaction electrocatalyst
Andraž Pavlišič, Primož Jovanovič, Vid Simon Šelih, Martin Šala, Marjan Bele, Goran Dražić, Iztok Arčon, Samo B. Hočevar, Anton Kokalj, Nejc Hodnik, Miran Gaberšček, izvirni znanstveni članek

Opis: The positive effect of intermetallic ordering of platinum alloy nanoparticles on oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity has been well established. What is still missing is an understanding of selective leaching of the less noble metal from the ordered structure and its correlation to longterm ORR performance. Using a combination of kinetic Monte Carlo simulations and advanced characterization techniques, we provide unprecedented insight into dealloying of intermetallic PtCu3 nanoparticles a well-known binary alloy. Comparison of ordered and disordered samples with identical initial compositions and particle size distributions reveals an unexpected correlation: whereas the copper dealloying rates in the ordered and disordered counterparts are almost the same, in the ordered structure Pt atoms are surrounded by 15−30% more Cu atoms throughout all the stages of acid leaching. This more convenient Pt−Cu coordination explains the statistically significant increase of 23−37% in ORR activity of the ordered structure at all stages of alloy degradation.
Ključne besede: ORR activity, fuel cells, platinum alloy, nanoparticle stability, intermetallic ordering, kinetic Monte Carlo, dealloying, in situ ICP-MS
Objavljeno v RUNG: 27.09.2016; Ogledov: 5436; Prenosov: 0
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