Department of Chemistry and Materials Science

Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry

The group has lately studied externally triggered drug delivery, electrochemical energy storage, electrodialysis and electrochemistry in two phase (oil-water) systems.
CV duck
Voltammetric duck

 

Research projects:

Our research projects include:

  1. All Copper redox flow battery (CuBER)
  2. Electrodialysis with bipolar membranes (CREDIT)
  3. Electrochemistry at the liquid-liquid interface (ITIES)
All Copper Redox Flow Battery
All Copper Redox Flow Battery

All Copper redox flow battery (CuBER)

The problem of wind and solar energy production is that it is intermittent, not always meeting the need of electric power. Therefore, storing renewable energy to level consumption peaks and lows becomes very important. Large amounts of electric energy are mainly stored in pumped hydropower. From electrochemical methods a flow battery is practically the only one which is easily scalable to the MWh range. The principle of operation of a redox flow battery is presented in Figure 2, also showing the electrode reactions of the all-copper RFB. The capacity of a RFB can in principle be increased without limits by increasing the volume of the electrolyte tanks.

The vanadium RFB is already commercialized but the limited availability of vanadium prevents its use on the global scale. Hence, the focus of our research is to develop a RFB that is based on copper electrochemistry. The study has been funded by TEKES.

An EU funded scale-up project started in the beginning of 2020, in the purpose of building a 5 kWh CuRFB. The consortium consists of 11 partners all over Europe.

Principle of the process

Electrodialysis with bipolar membranes (CREDIT)

In hydrometallurgy, leaching is usually done with sulfuric acid that is neutralized by alkaline, resulting significant amounts of aqueous sulfate salt as waste. The amount of sodium sulfate waste in mines and mineral processes will grow considerably in the future as the need for battery chemicals for energy storage and electric vehicles are continuously increasing. Its low value with high processing costs and the savings in chemical costs are critical issues for its recycling. We are developing a novel technology concept for water treatment and chemical recovery of highly concentrated low-value sulfate waste from a battery chemical plant.

The main aim of the project CREDIT is to scale-­up the bipolar electrodialysis (BPED) technology for recycling sodium sulfate in hydrometallurgical processes by converting it to sodium hydroxide and sulfuric acid. We will also provide an economically feasible bipolar membrane-based technology which will reduce environmental discharges. Furthermore, we shall focus on also most suitable pretreatment and post-treatment technologies. The project is financed EIT-Raw Materials program; the other participants are VTT Espoo, Finnish Minerals Group, Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta, and SUEZ Water Technologies.

ET at ITIES

Electrochemistry at the liquid-liquid interface (ITIES)

During the past 30 years, we have studied the electrochemistry of liquid-liquid interfaces, which is quite an original area of research in the field of electrochemistry. Now the research is focused to the metal extraction and reduction boosted with Galvani potential difference across the interface. Experiments are done with the scanning electrochemical microscope (SECM), fixing the Galvani potential difference between the phases via electrolytes distribution (LiTB and BATB).

Funding: Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation

SECM at ITIES
Experimental setup for SECM measurements @ ITIES. MIBK = methyl isobutyl ketone.
Our textbooks

Teaching:

  • Electrochemistry

  • Transport processes

Latest publications

Performance improvements for the all-copper redox flow battery: Membranes, electrodes, and electrolytes

Wouter Dirk Badenhorst, Laura Sanz, Catia Arbizzani, Lasse Murtomäki 2022 Energy Reports

Short thermal treatment of carbon felts for copper-based redox flow batteries

Luigi Faggiano, Gianluca Lacarbonara, Wouter Badenhorst, Lasse Murtomäki, Laura Sanz Rubio, Catia Arbizzani 2022 Journal of Power Sources

Determination of ionic diffusion coefficients in ion-exchange membranes: strong electrolytes and sulfates with dissociation equilibria

Kuldeep Kuldeep, José Antonio Manzanares, Pertti Kauranen, Seyedabolfazl Mousavihashemi, Lasse Murtomäki 2022 CHEMELECTROCHEM

Other important inorganic chemistries: All-copper RFBs

Laura Sanz Rubio, Wouter Badenhorst, Giampaolo Lacarbonara, Luigi Faggiano, David Lloyd, Pertti Kauranen, Catia Arbizzani, Lasse Murtomäki 2022 Flow Batteries

Bipolar Membrane Electrodialysis for Sulfate Recycling in the Metallurgical Industries

Kuldeep Kuldeep, Wouter Badenhorst, Pertti Kauranen, Heikki Pajari, Ronja Ruismäki, Petri Mannela, Lasse Murtomäki 2021 MEMBRANES

Electrodiffusion of ions in ion exchange membranes: finite element simulations and experiments

Kuldeep Kuldeep, Pertti Kauranen, Heikki Pajari, Risto Pajarre, Lasse Murtomäki 2021 Chemical Engineering Journal Advances

Special issue: Redox flow batteries

Lasse Murtomäki 2021 Chemosensors

Probing TCNQ-Mediated Metal Reduction Reactions at Liquid-Liquid Interface with SECM

Eemi Nieminen, Nargiz Kazimova, Lasse Murtomäki 2020 ELECTROANALYSIS
More information on our research in the Research database.
Research database
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