C-Flow is a range of electrochemical cells and systems. With 50 years’ experience in providing technology solutions and equipment, C-Tech Innovation has a deep institutional understanding of electrochemistry and the needs of re- searchers, engineers and technicians working in the field. Dissatisfied with the solutions currently on the market, C-Tech has poured those years of expertise into creating the equipment we wanted to use – the most versatile and easy-to-use electrochemical cells and systems in the world. We call this range C-Flow. The 1×1 and 5×5 C-Flow cells are available to purchase from Alvatek, a UK distributor of high performance research solutions for electrochemistry, materials and renewable energy applications.
C-Tech Innovation’s C-Flow 3D system uses electrochemical deposition to recover elemental metal directly from an aqueous solution, with no additional reagents. High value metals (e.g. Co, Ni) and precious metals (e.g. Pt, Ag) can be directly recycled, easily and at high purity.
Electrodeposition occurs at the cathode of an electrochemical cell, while oxygen is produced at the anode due to the oxidation of water, according to the following scheme (where M is the metal being deposited):
Cathode: M2+ + 2e– → M
Anode: H2O → ½ O2 + 2H+ + 2e–
Overall: M2+ + H2O → M + ½ O2 + 2H+
While conventional electrochemical cells relying on metal plate or mesh electrodes are limited in their performance by the low surface area, C-Flow 3D uses very high surface area carbon felt to maximise the deposition rate and to achieve much lower final solution concentrations.
C-Flow 3D is available as a self-contained laboratory scale unit, to study metal deposition from aqueous solutions. Students can study the effects of electrolyte, its flowrate, and the applied current on deposition rate, current efficiency, and cell voltage. Such parameters can be used in economic studies to minimise plant costs.