Bubble Detection on the Cathode and Anode of a High-Performing Capillary-Fed Water Electrolysis Cell

06 April 2023, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


The cathode and anode of a ‘bubble-free’ ‘capillary-fed’ water electrolysis cell that was previously reported to consume only 40.4 kWh kg-1 hydrogen under standard commercial operating conditions, have been separately investigated for the incidence of gas bubble formation during operation. Adaptions of a voltage fluctuation and an acoustic emission technique were applied in combination, to detect and analyze bubble formation at current densities up to 1 A cm-2. The two techniques produced very similar results, showing little bubble formation up to 0.17-0.20 A cm-2. Thereafter, bubbles were formed predominantly at the cathode up to ~0.6 A cm2. At higher current densities, the cathode and anode produced bubbles at similar rates, that were substantially lower than in conventional, ‘bubbled’ electrolysis cells. In the course of this work, the previously reported high electrochemical performance of the capillary-fed cell was independently confirmed.


Water electrolysis
Green hydrogen


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