C-Flow PLT is a new design of electrochemical cell and plant, offering much higher capacities – four times the flow rates – than possible with current stack designs. A modular pilot plant offers a step change in flexibility and reduced development costs for use by academic and industrial R&D users.
Current designs are stack systems with multiple adjacent bipolar cells in an arrangement similar to a heat exchanger or filter press. Inherent constrictions to the flow of electrolyte into and out of each cell in this design lead to high pressure drops across the equipment, limiting capacity and increasing operating costs. Capital costs also tend to be high.
C-Flow PLT is a high throughput electrochemical plant, with a multiple 625
cm2 cell system, including power electronics, control system, tanks and pipe-work, and balance of plant, with a target linear velocity of 1 m s-1 across the electrodes, corresponding to 75 litres per minute of both anolyte and catholyte per cell. The flow rate is four times that of comparable current cell designs and is a step change increase in the operational capacity of electrochemical pilot plant, approaching production scale volumes but with a much smaller footprint and an order of magnitude difference in cost.
The design is modular – each cell is contained in its own cassette, allowing a high degree of flexibility of operation. Individual cells can be switched in and out for maintenance with dry-break couplings and with no disturbance to other cells. It also allows easy scale up and addition of capacity.
A wide variety of electrochemical processes can be performed using the C-Flow PLT, including the treatment of dilute systems (e.g. waste water), chemical synthesis, viscous liquids requiring a high degree of turbulence (and therefore flow rate), and other syntheses requiring high volumetric flows.
Power electronics can be specified according to customer requirements and application, and can be sized to deliver up to 4,000 A/m2 to the cells.