Russian Journal of Electrochemistry

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 307-327

First online:

Coupled convection of solution near the surface of ion-exchange membranes in intensive current regimes

  • N. D. PismenskayaAffiliated withKuban State University Email author 
  • , V. V. NikonenkoAffiliated withKuban State University
  • , E. I. BelovaAffiliated withKuban State University
  • , G. Yu. LopatkovaAffiliated withKuban State University
  • , Ph. SistatAffiliated withInstitut Europeen des Membranes
  • , G. PourcellyAffiliated withInstitut Europeen des Membranes
  • , K. LarsheAffiliated withUniversité Paris XII

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Mechanisms responsible for the overlimiting ion transfer in membranes systems are discussed. The overlimiting transfer is shown to be due largely to the action of four effects coupled with the concentration polarization of the system. Two of these are connected with the water dissociation near the membrane/solution interface: the emergence of additional charge carriers (ions H+ or OH) in the depleted solution layer and the exaltation of transfer of salt counterions. The latter effect is connected with the perturbation of electric field caused by the water dissociation products. The other two effects are two versions of coupled convection, which leads to partial destruction of the depleted diffusion layer. These include gravitational convection and electroconvection. The former is caused by the emergence of the solution’s density gradient. The latter develops via a mechanism of electroosmotic slip. In this work, methods of voltammetry and chronopotentiometry and pH measurements are used to study the transfer of ions through homogeneous membranes Nafion-117 and AMX as a function of the concentration of sodium chloride solutions in the underlimiting and overlimiting current regimes. In a 0.1 M NaCl solution, gravitational convection makes a considerable contribution to the transfer of salt ions near the membrane surface in intensive current regimes. The influence of this effect on the electrochemical behavior of membrane systems weakens with the solution dilution and with increasing relative transfer of the H+ and OH ions that are generated at the membrane/solution interface. In conditions where gravitational convection is suppressed and the water dissociation near the membrane/solution interface is not great, the major contribution to the overlimiting growth of current is made by electroconvection. Topics for discussion in the paper include the mutual influence of effects on one another, in particular, the effect the rate of generation of the H+ and OH ions exerts on the gravitational convection and electroconvection and the reasons for the different behavior of cation-and anion-exchange membranes in intensive current regimes.

Key words

electrodialysis overlimiting mass transfer coupled convection water dissociation