Journal of Applied Electrochemistry

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 457–462 | Cite as

An experimental study of a fixed bed chlor-alkali reactor

  • Colin Oloman
  • John Radcliffe


A 100 A continuous ‘flow-by’ chlor-alkali membrane reactor was constructed with both anode and cathode consisting of fixed beds of 0.6 to 1 mm diameter graphite particles. The reactor was operated over a range of conditions with and without co-current flow of air or oxygen to the cathode. With an anolyte of 5 M NaCl and catholyte 1.4–3 M NaOH the reactor produced sodium hydroxide and chlorine with ≥80% efficiency at temperatures 28–100°C, absolute pressure 270–970 kPa and superficial current density up to 3.3 kA m−2. For operation at 100°C and an average pressure of 870 kPa with no gas delivered to the cathode, the cell voltage increased linearly from 2.5V at 0.3 kA m−2 (10 A) to 4.0 V at 3.3 kA m−2 (100 A). When oxygen was delivered to the cathode at 1 litre min−1 under 870 kPa average pressure, the corresonding cell voltages were 1.6 V at 0.3 kA m−2 to 3.4 V at 3.3 kA m−2. In operation with air under the same conditions the cell voltage rose from 1.6 V at 0.3 kA m−2 to 3.1 V at 1.6 kA m−2. The performance of the oxygen cathode deteriorated with lower pressure and temperature due to mass transfer constraints on the oxygen reaction in the fixed bed electrode.


Oxygen Graphite Hydroxide Mass Transfer Chlorine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Tafel constant (V)


Tafel coefficient (V per decade)


standard electrode potential (V)


equilibrium electrode potential (V)


superficial current density (kA m−2)


interfacial current density (kA m−2)


mass transfer limited interfacial current density (kA m−2)


partial pressure (kPa)


effective resistivity (Ωm−2)


difference in operating cell voltage (V) Greek symbols


overpotential (V)



reaction 1


reaction 2


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Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall Ltd. 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Colin Oloman
    • 1
  • John Radcliffe
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringThe University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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