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Time-dependent modelling and asymptotic analysis of electrochemical cells

By Giles Richardson and J.R. King


A (time-dependent) model for an electrochemical cell, comprising a dilute binary electrolytic solution between two flat electrodes, is formulated. The method of matched asymptotic expansions (taking the ratio of the Debye length to the cell width as the small asymptotic parameter) is used to derive simplified models of the cell in two distinguished limits and to systematically derive the Butler–Volmer boundary conditions. The first limit corresponds to a diffusion-limited reaction and the second to a capacitance-limited reaction. Additionally, for sufficiently small current flow/large diffusion, a simplified (lumped-parameter) model is derived which describes the long-time behaviour of the cell as the electrolyte is depleted. The limitations of the dilute model are identified, namely that for sufficiently large half-electrode potentials it predicts unfeasibly large concentrations of the ion species in the immediate vicinity of the electrodes. This motivates the formulation of a second model, for a concentrated electrolyte. Matched asymptotic analyses of this new model are conducted, in distinguished limits corresponding to a diffusion-limited reaction and a capacitance-limited reaction. These lead to simplified models in both of which a system of PDEs, in the outer region (the bulk of the electrolyte), matches to systems of ODEs, in inner regions about the electrodes. Example (steady-state) numerical solutions of the inner equations are presented

Year: 2007
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.soton.ac.uk:156353
Provided by: e-Prints Soton

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