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Dynamics and Control of Membrane-Based Electrochemical Processes


R. Pearson, M. Doyle

IFAC Symposium on Advanced Control of Chemical Processes, Pisa, pp. 1061-1066

Electrochemical reactors based on ionomeric membranes are the subject of much current industrial activity in a wide variety of applications, including fuel cells, salt splitting, electroorganic syntheses, metal recovery systems, ozone and hydrogen peroxide generation, and acid catalysis. These reactors are extremely interesting from a control perspective because they represent reaction/separation systems in which these two basic unit operations are intimately coupled, as in reactive distillation. In addition, there is evidence to suggest that gas-fed membrane electrolysis cells can exhibit open-loop instability at high current densities. Since process economics generally argue in favor of maximizing operating current densities (which determine production rate per unit cell area), there is a strong practical motivation for the development of stabilizing feedback controllers. As a first step toward this objective, this paper describes a first-principles model of the dynamics of a simple ionomeric membrane reactor system and some preliminary results concerning its qualitative behavior, particularly in the regime of high operating current densities.


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% Autogenerated BibTeX entry
@InProceedings { PeaDoy:2000:IFA_118,
    author={R. Pearson and M. Doyle},
    title={{Dynamics and Control of Membrane-Based Electrochemical
    booktitle={IFAC Symposium on Advanced Control of Chemical Processes},
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