Experimental and Numerical Investigations of Two-Phase Electrolysis Processes - Electrical Energy Conversion in Hydrogen Production


1 LIMatB EA4250, Université de Bretagne Sud, Centre de recherche rue de Saint-Maudé, 56100 Lorient, France

2 Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, Concordia University, 1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. West, Montreal, Quebec, H3G 1M8 Canada

3 Alcan – Centre de Recherche de Voreppe -725 rue Aristide Bergès - BP 27 – 38341 Voreppe Cedex, France


During two-phase electrolysis processes, for example for hydrogen production, there are bubbles which are created at electrodes. This implies a great vertical motion source in the normal earth gravity field and then a quite important natural two-phase convection. All other fields are then affected. Heat, mass and electricity transfers are modified due to both bubbles screening (at surface and in volume) and to bubbles transport promotion. Many numerical modeling for two-phase processes such as kerosene pulverization in engines or coal combustion sciences have shown the difficulties of these multi-physics processes. Both particles and reactor scales must be considered according with a strong coupling modeling. In these processes the particles injection is “in the flow”. In boiling or electrolysis processes, a new difficulty is added: particles birth or injection is strongly coupled to the local flow properties and leads to a complex boundary condition at surfaces. Electrical and electrochemical properties and processes are disturbed. This disturbance can lead to the modification of the local current density and to anode effects for example. There is few works concerning the local modelling of electrochemical processes during a two-phase electrolysis process. There are also few local experimental measurements in term of chemical composition, temperature or current density which will allow the numerical calculations validation. The present work shows the started numerical modeling strategy and the first results, both experimental and numerical obtained.