Acoustic actuator unit for accelerating electrochemical processes (AKUREAKIN)

The aim of the project is to validate the acoustic technology patented by Coburg University of Applied Sciences for accelerating (electro-) chemical reactions at interfaces and to demonstrate the technical applicability of the technology in industrial plants.

The technology is based on the targeted excitation of so-called guided acoustic waves (GAW) on component or electrode surfaces, whereby acoustic currents can be induced more directly in the electrochemical interface and interfacial transport processes can be accelerated. Via this GAW excitation directly on components, larger effects can be achieved and larger surfaces can be impacted with much lower acoustic powers than with divergent irradiation into the electrolyte.

The technology can be used to shorten the charging time of energy storage devices, improve the efficiency of hydrogen electrolysis or accelerate the electropolishing/galvanizing process for metallic workpieces or improve coating properties.

The central task of the project is the development of a modular transducer unit with associated power electronics, which can be used as far as possible in different electrochemical processes and plants for the generation of GAW on relevant components or electrodes and explicitly addresses the integrability in real plants (installation possibilities, installation space, cable management, etc.). The transducer components and power electronics developed in the project will be investigated for selected electrochemical processes (electroplating, electrolysis, redox flow batteries) with regard to their potential for accelerating galvanic processes, improving layer quality, increasing the hydrogen deposition rate or accelerating the charging of energy storage devices. Based on the test results, a concept-based plant reconfiguration (redesign of relevant industrial plants for the integration of GAW technology) will be carried out.

In particular, this should enable a more concrete assessment of the achievable advantages, the required effort and the risks that may still exist when exploiting this invention for potential industrial customers or spin-offs.

The AKUREAKIN project is funded by the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy.