Journal of Applied Electrochemistry

, Volume 45, Issue 8, pp 899–912 | Cite as

Non-isothermal model for an industrial chlor-alkali cell with oxygen-depolarized cathode

  • Naresh ChavanEmail author
  • Stefan Pinnow
  • Gregor D. Polcyn
  • Thomas Turek
Research Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Electrochemical Processes


A mathematical model for a chlor-alkali electrolysis cell with oxygen-depolarized cathode (ODC) was developed. With this model, distributions of temperature, concentration, current density, and overpotential as a function of height can be calculated. At an industrially relevant current density of \(4\,{\mathrm{kAm}}^{-2}\), neither current density nor overpotentials exhibit strong variations along the cell height. Main reason for this behavior is the uniformity of temperature distributions in the solid compartments of the cell (anode, membrane, ODC) which can be explained by efficient heat transfer between the electrodes and the electrolyte streams. This is especially true for the caustic solution, through which most of the irreversible heat released in the cell is removed. However, the temperature of the oxygen stream increases only slowly until at the top of the electrolyzer, gas temperatures around 78 °C are achieved. Due to the initially low temperatures and the low water content of the inlet oxygen stream, the gas phase takes up considerable net amounts of water vapor. Nevertheless, the oxygen partial pressure at the electrochemically active regions of the ODC remains high allowing for efficient operation of the cathode.


Chlor-alkali electrolysis Oxygen-depolarized cathode  Modeling Heat balance 



We would like to thank the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for funding this work under the klimazwei program. The authors also greatly acknowledge Andreas Bulan and his team at Bayer MaterialScience AG (BMS) for fruitful discussions, which improved the overall quality of this work. We also would like to thank BMS for the caustic ion conductivity measurements.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Chemical and Electrochemical Process EngineeringClausthal University of TechnologyClausthal-ZellerfeldGermany
  2. 2.ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions AGDortmundGermany
  3. 3.ThyssenKrupp Electrolysis GmbHDortmundGermany

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