Scientific Scope

The Symposium on “Insights into Gas Diffusion Electrodes: From Fundamentals to industrial applications” is an initiative of the Research Unit 2397 approved by German Research Foundation (DFG) in July 2016. The main research focus of the project "Multiscale Analysis of Complex Three-Phase Systems: Oxygen Reduction at Gas Diffusion Electrodes in Aqueous Electrolyte" are the complex processes within gas diffusion electrodes (GDEs).

GDEs have broad applications in different electrochemical devices such as fuel cells, electrolyzers, and batteries for energy as well as inorganic and organic synthesis applications. Although very different chemistries and materials are involved, all of these examples share some similarities related to so-called “three phase boundaries” as well as pronounced mass transfer resistances related to slow diffusivity and/or low solubility of gases. These problems usually cause low catalyst utilizations and low performances of overall devices and at the same time increases the costs of their production.

In this topical meeting we would like to address these challenges explicitly with respect to:

  • advanced methods for GDE preparation (devoted to control of local arrangement of GDE materials and porosity) and simulation driven methods for GDE structure optimization,
  • study of reaction kinetics and reaction mechanisms involving gaseous products or reactants,
  • advanced characterization methods for GDEs (dynamic, in-situ, and operando studies),
  • multiscale modeling of GDE operation including reaction and transport resistances.

Overall, our topical meeting should facilitate transfer of knowledge and methods between different communities developing or using GDE technology and should promote the development of a common terminology: does the three phase boundary have the same meaning in all these examples?




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