Electrolysis is a promising option for carbon free-production of hydrogen. The process uses electricity to split water (H20) molecules into Hydrogen and Oxygen gas. Hydrogen has many diverse uses from electrochemical hydrogen fuel cells, the next generation of internal combustion engines, domestic heating to jet fuel. Renewable electricity sources such as solar and wind can be used to power the electrolysis process hence, all these applications do not produce CO2. However, a major problem is the efficiency of the electrolytic process. Hydrogen and Oxygen bubbles blanket the electrodes, creating localised discontinuities in electrical conductivity and the electrolysis process becomes self-limited. We hypothesise that external fields (ultrasound / electromagnetic), can disrupt bubbles to increase the efficiency of the process. Sonification breaks bubbles into a cloud of smaller bubbles, potentially leading to decreased electrical mean free path, hence, increased conductivity. A magnetic field generates a Lorentz force that can control the migrating H+ and OH- ions. External fields can also promote the extraction of bubbles through acoustic streaming and electromagnetic forces. This PhD will build on existing computational fluid dynamics (CFD), ultrasonic and magnetohydrodynamic codes developed at the University of Greenwich and apply them to this novel problem.
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