Techno-Economic Assesment of Electrochemical Process

Electrochemical and Electro-catalytic processes are inherently more efficient than thermo-catalysis and offer the advantage of incorporating electrons from renewable electricity into fuels and chemicals, thus emerging as promising candidates for design of sustainable energy and chemical systems. An electrochemical process can be defined as a process with an electrolytic stage involved either to produce chemicals or for the generation of power. Some major reactions where electrochemical pathways are actively researched include electrochemical reduction of carbon-dioxide, syngas production and electrochemical water disinfection.

Techno-economic Analysis (TEA) connects R&D and engineering to business. By linking process parameters to financial metrics, TEA helps understand the factors that affect the profitability of their technology development projects. For costing and technoeconomic analysis of electrochemical processes, a brief review of relevant electrochemical parameters is critical. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Faradaic Efficiency: A measure of an electron’s efficiency of making the desired product. The concept is similar to selectivity of a thermochemical catalysis.
  • Current Density: Current per area. This is a measure of the size of the system needed to drive the chosen flowrate of product [units: A/m2]
  • Reaction Rate: If a reaction rate for the reactor is known, it is often provided in normalized units per weight of catalyst. This information can be used directly to determine the amount of catalyst needed for a given output.
  • Voltage: The potential difference across the cell. This is needed to calculate the total power of the cell.
  • Liquid electrolyte required per surface area: if the system uses a liquid electrolyte, an important specification is the amount of liquid needed per m2 of surface area.
  • Solid electrolyte membrane thickness: Electrolyte thickness informs cost in the same way as the catalysts thickness

We have developed a custom model for assessing the feasibility and economics of electrochemical processes. This model was successful in generating costs and energy intensity of an electrochemical process that reduced CO2 to ethylene and other byproducts. An in-depth techno-economic model, as presented here, has the ability to be a useful tool for investors in electrochemical processes to assess the financials of an electrochemical technology. We would love to discuss more – Contact us here or call us at +1-825-365-1687.

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