Electrochemical Energy Conversion

Research Portfolio - Dr. Alexander Karl Opitz

Research Topics

[Translate to English:] sketch

Electrochemical splitting of H2O and CO2 will play a key role for future energy supply based on renewables.

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[Translate to English:] pictures of measurement setups

Owing to the need of answering complicated scientific questions, we need novel experimental approaches to establish and test fundamental concepts to deeper understand solid state electrochemistry.

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[Translate to English:] data set representing the research focus

The reaction rates of mixed conducting solid oxide fuel cell electrodes are often limited by the kinetics of oxygen exchange at the surface, e.g. either O2 incorporation and release, or H2 oxidation or H2O splitting.

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[Translate to English:] sample sketch, equivalent circuit, data representing the research topic

The characterization of electrochemical cells or cell constituents is one of our main research tasks. In electrochemical devices that may range from thin film model systems to a full battery, fuel or electrolysis cell stack, the current passing through the cells is a direct measure for the electrochemical reaction rate. Aim is to gain insight into rates and mechanisms of the electrochemical reaction.

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[Translate to English:] schematic of a solid oxide cell

Solid oxide cells (SOCs) are electrochemical energy converters, whose components - as the name already suggests - consist of solid oxides. Most prominent examples of these devices are solid oxide fuel and solid oxide electrolysis cells (SOFCs and SOECs).

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[Translate to English:] microscope pictures of the material, data representing the research topic

The use of geometrically well-defined electrodes is one of the key features of our experimental approach. By designing the geometry of the investigated electrochemical system, one obtains the ability to operate an electrochemical model cell in a highly defined manner.

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[Translate to English:] Data and sample sketch representing the research topic

From a mechanistic point of view, electrode reactions in solid state electrochemistry and in electrochemical systems with liquid electrolyte are significantly different.

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Funded Projects

[Translate to English:] Alex Opitz is watering a plant with electrical energy

Was am Ende herauskommt, weiß man nie – das gilt in der Wissenschaft immer. Aber manche Forschungsideen sind ungewöhnlicher, origineller, gewagter als andere. Und gerade sie fördert der österreichische Wissenschaftsfonds FWF mit dem 1000-Ideen-Programm. Wesentlich ist, dass die Ideen im Erfolgsfall ein besonders hohes transformatives Potenzial haben und einen besonders wesentlichen Fortschritt ermöglichen. Unter den ausgewählten Projekten findet sich dieses Jahr wieder eines an der TU Wien: Prof. Alexander Opitz vom Institut für Chemische Technologien und Analytik, hat kein geringeres Ziel, als die weltweite Pflanzendüngerherstellung zu revolutionieren.

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