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Electrocatalysis

Principal Investigator(s): 

Abstract: 

Electrocatalysis is a catalytic chemical reaction in which electrons are produced as a product. Work in all of our projects is directed by and contributes to advances in electrocatalysis. SOFC's and solid-state sensors require fuels to be modified for their systems. This can happen using a separate reformer or internally. Ideally, an external reformer would not be necessary but due to the carbon and sulfur in many fuels causes coking (build up of carbon in fuel lines) and fouling. Advances in electrocatalysis help minimize these problems without pre-processing of fuels.

Our lab has advanced the understanding electrocatalytic CH4 conversion and the post- combustion reduction of NOx. We recently showed that the Mixed Potential Theory is insufficient for metal oxide semi conducting electrodes such as LaFeO3 and LaMnO3. We developed a more comprehensive mechanism called the Differential Electrode Equilibria that considers adsorption behavior in addition to the response from electrochemical reactions.