The Reactor Engineering team is focused on building electrochemical reactors at relevant scales for industrialization. Allison and Hunter focus on using electrochemical and reactor characterization techniques to understand kinetics and transport as a function of reactor size. Danielle and Recep lend their expertise in CO2 Reduction on gas diffusion electrodes to designing architectures and materials for electrochemical reactors, especially zero-gap designs. Mark was instrumental in developing different components of our reactors and test stands available at NREL. 

The reactor engineering team covers many aspects of reactor performance, including:

  • Designing, diagnosing, and understanding performance of electrochemical reactors at size and time scales relevant to commercialization.

  • Developing new materials and architectures for stable, highly active electrochemical reactors.

  • Understanding and developing models for complex structure-functional relationships of materials in electrochemical reactors, and their intimate ties to kinetics and transport.

  • Designing experimental controls that allow these reactors to be run safely, despite the present danger of caustic fluids, high-pressure gases, and high applied voltages. 

This work can be directly coupled with our Operando Electrochemical Characterization and Computational Modeling teams to better understand the reaction environment, leading to improved reactor performance. Reactor engineering naturally lends itself to joint work with the Process Analysis team. Our reactor engineering research is tailored towards one end goal, though: developing scalable electrochemical reactors that can be commercialized into renewable energy systems.