Chemical Engineering


CHEE461 : Electrochemical Engineering



Dominik BarzDupuis 213/FCRCbarzd@queensu.ca613-533-6000x79470


Course Description

This engineering science course covers aspects of technological applications of electrochemistry. It can be considered as overlap between electrical engineering, electrochemistry and chemical engineering. The course addresses the following 6 major topics of electrochemical engineering: 1) Introduction to Electrochemical Engineering: Electrostatics, Electrodynamics, Electrical Circuit Theory, Faradays Law; 2) Elements of Electrochemical Systems I Electrolyte: Transport processes, electrolyte conductivity, pH and buffer solutions; 3) Elements of Electrochemical Systems II Electrodes: Electrochemical Thermodynamics, Nernst Equation, Reference Electrodes, Cell Potential (Electromotive Force), Electrode Kinetics 4) Electrical Double Layers: Theory & Models, Electrokinetic Phenomena; 5) Electrochemical Energy Engineering: Batteries, Fuel Cells, Electrical & Electrochemical Capacitors; 6) Industrial Electrochemical Processes: Fundamentals, Reactor Design & Parameter, Chlor-Alkali Process, Electrochemical Extraction of Metals, Hall Heroult Process. (0/0/0/30/12)

PREREQUISITES:  CHEE 210, CHEE 321, or permission of the department.

Objectives and Outcomes

The objective of this course is to acquire fundamental knowledge of electrochemistry/electrochemical engineering including electrokinetic phenomena. The knowledge is applied to understand general methodologies for analysis and design of electrochemical systems.

After successfully completing this course you should be able to: 

  1. Define and explain the concepts of Electrical Potential, Electrical Field, Electrostatic Work, Voltage, Current, Electrochemical Potential, Activation Energy, Electrode & Electrochemical Equilibrium.
  2. Formulate and calculate relevant transport phenomena such as migration and the characteristics of (diluted) electrolytes. Relate the conversion of matter to the transport of electrical charge.
  3. Evaluate the potential of electrochemical systems based on thermodynamic data and the concept of half-cells. Applying electrical circuit elements to model electrochemical systems in order to calculate energy balances and to estimate efficiencies.
  4. Apply knowledge of electrokinetic phenomena to design microfluidic unit operations.
  5. Use of technical measures to characterize properties of galvanic elements and capacitors.
  6. Demonstrate fundamental knowledge of major industrial electrochemical processes and electrochemical reactor design including economic and environmental considerations.

This course assesses the following attributes:

Knowledge base for engineering (CLO 1-5)

  • CHEE-KB-CHEM-2. Utilizes knowledge of electrochemistry and electrochemical engineering, including electrokinetic phenomena, to analyze and design electrochemical systems and processes.
  • CHEE-KB-RE-1. Analyzes reaction mechanisms, identifies rate limiting steps and develops expressions describing reaction kinetics for non catalytic, catalytic, or electrochemical processes.
  • CHEE-KB-THE-5. Determines equilibrium constants and analyzes the influence of thermodynamic equilibrium on reaction and separation systems.

Design (CLO 6)

  • CHEE-DE-3. Develops equipment, process or product design incorporating performance requirements and constraints such as quality, yield, reliability, economics, safety, and standards and codes as appropriate.

Relevance to the Program

This engineering science course covers aspects of technological applications of electrochemistry. It can be considered as overlap between electrical engineering, electrochemistry and chemical engineering. The need for electrochemical engineering arises in society because of multiple important technological applications such as synthesis of chemicals, electrowinning and refining of metals, batteries and fuel cells, sensors, surface modification by electrodeposition and etching, separations, and corrosion, to mention a few. The course assumes knowledge of 2nd year CHEE210 Thermodynamic Properties of Fluids, 3rd year CHEE 311 Fluid Phase and Reaction Equilibrium and CHEE 321 Chemical Reaction Engineering.

Course Structure and Activities

3 lecture hours + 1 tutorial hour per week.  Please refer to SOLUS for times and locations


The topic is covered comprehensively in the lecture material. That is, no textbook is required for the course. The main reason for this is that a suitable modern textbook does not exist.  All course lecture slides, assignments and tutorials will be posted on the CHEE 461 Moodle site. If you are registered for the course, you can access this information by logging in at moodle.queensu.ca

There are several books available in literature concerned with electrochemistry or aspects of electrochemical engineering. They can be used accompanying to the lecture material if there is a desire to expand and to deepen the knowledge.

Suggested is Hamann, Hamnett, Vielstich: Electrochemistry, Wiley-VCH though it rather targets graduate students and chemists.