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Flow Electrolysis

Replication is an impediment in the path of scientific progress, especially for experiments conducted using electrolysis. This challenge primarily comes from an abundance of non-standard setups requiring bespoke components, converting valuable experimental time into time spent on manufacturing and calibration. Necessary equipment causes further issues of yield since flask-based batch reactors lack a fresh supply of reactant, causing reaction efficiencies that decay over time.

Analytical is pleased to offer a solution in the form of a standardized flow electrolysis setup. This new and upcoming technology allows for rapid and efficient production of complex chemical compounds via flow electrolysis. With an interelectrode gap smaller than a millimeter, and the introduction of flow geometries that promote turbulent mixing, our Flow Electrolysis Cell allow for heightened selectivity and yield when compared to flask based reactors. Additionally, the Flow Electrolysis Cell requires minimal new equipment to use. With fittings for 1/8” OD HPLC tubing, fluid flow and protruding electrodes can be connected to power supplies via standard connectors.

Analytical offers both a divided undivided cell. This capability opens up new experimental possibilities and allows swift development of novel and useful compounds, particularly in the field of organic electrosynthesis. In an undivided cell, both electrodes are washed with the same electrolyte and only one fluid circuit is used; the opposite side of the cell is sealed with HPLC plugs and an electrode without through-holes. This allows for low-resistance reactions which will output combined products. In a divided cell the electrodes and their flow channels are separated by a Nafion membrane, allowing for reactions to be performed that produce separate output streams. This can be advantageous if the two electrolyte solutions are incompatible or if the products of their reaction are troublesome to separate. Individual components are also offered, making it easy to convert a divided cell to an undivided cell and vice versa. Higher efficiency and the ability to customize is critical to your experimental needs which is why Analytical offers a variety of different electrodes and flow channels.

The flow electrolysis setup features a convenient 80mm footprint, and thanks in part to mixing geometry flow channels designed to promote chaotic mixing and turbulence, an improved increase in the average yield by over 6% can be achieved. Analytical has the products required to meet your scientific needs.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Are there any other materials used in the assembly besides the PFA, silicone rubber, and aluminum?
Aside from the anode and cathode materials, the aforementioned materials are the only materials used in the assembly. It is worth noting the aluminum plates are anodized and damaging the anodizing may affect your results.
Can I use a separator smaller rather than the standard 80x80mm size?
The separator is made to this size so that the screw holes can be used for alignment. It is possible to go as low as 35x35mm, however this will make alignment of the separator more difficult.
Are there other materials available for the cathode and anode?
Yes! Analytical Sales would be happy to provide cathodes and anodes in more materials. Contact us with your material requirements to learn more. Minimum order quantities may apply.
Can I create my own separator?
Yes you can create your own separator from the material of your choosing. Public prints with dimensions can be provided upon request.
Can I create and use custom flow channels rather than the provided channels?
Yes! Public prints with dimensions can be provided on request.
How can I convert my Divided Flow Cell into an Undivided Flow Cell?

You will need to remove one flow channel film as well as the Nafion membrane, change to a solid graphite anode (instead of one with holes), and then remove the fluidic fittings from one side and install these plugs instead.

What are the volumes of the channel films?
Film Type Surface Area (mm^2) Volume at 0.254mm Thick (mm^3) Volume at 0.127mm Thick (mm^3)
Simple 681.06193 0.26813 0.13407
Tangential 485.74568 0.19124 0.09562
Meandering 631.43901 0.24860 0.12430
Fin Separator 474.58642 0.18685 0.09342

Flow Electrolysis Cell Assemblies

Electrode Plates for Flow Electrolysis Cells (5 x 5cm)

Flow Electrolysis Consumable Accessories

Flow Electrolysis Power Supply