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Passive removal of electrochemically produced hydrogen gas in a microfluidic device

Mok, S. (2017) Passive removal of electrochemically produced hydrogen gas in a microfluidic device.

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Abstract:The goal of this research is to create a microfluidic device where hydrogen is produced by electrolysis of water, while incorporating a method for the passive removal of the hydrogen gas from the microfluidic channels. To accomplish this, a number of microfluidic devices were designed, produced and tested. The main components of the final device are: a porous silicon membrane to be able to separately produce oxygen and hydrogen gas; platinum electrodes for the catalytic electrolysis of water; and channels with a tapered geometry to direct the gas bubbles in a certain direction without the need for an external pumping mechanism. After producing and testing the device it was shown the gas moves in the predicted direction, which proves the tapered channels work as expected. There is no definite proof that the two produced streams of gas are hydrogen and oxygen without cross-contamination, but no irregularities were observed to indicate otherwise. A similar current was needed for the electrolysis of water in the device with a membrane compared to a device with inter-digital electrodes, which indicates the membrane is not the limiting factor in electrolysis. For future research, the main recommendations are to keep incorporating the porous silicon membrane, platinum electrodes, and the tapered channels. Improvements can be made by reducing complexity and increasing usability, and incorporating measurement electrodes for accurate electrical measurements.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Clients:
Unknown organization, Netherlands
Faculty:TNW: Science and Technology
Subject:33 physics, 35 chemistry, 58 process technology
Programme:Science Education MSc (60034)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/73343
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