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NOₓ Detection By Pulse Polarization : Influence of Gold Electrodes

Title data

Donker, Nils ; Ruchets, Anastasiya ; Schönauer-Kamin, Daniela ; Zosel, Jens ; Guth, Ulrich ; Moos, Ralf:
NOₓ Detection By Pulse Polarization : Influence of Gold Electrodes.
Event: The 18th International Meeting on Chemical Sensors, IMCS2021 , May 30 - June 6, 2021 , online conference.
(Conference item: Conference , Speech )

Official URL: Volltext

Project information

Project title:
Project's official title
Project's id
Dynamische Methoden für elektrochemische Gassensoren (DynaSens)
MO 1060/30-1

Project financing: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Abstract in another language

Nitrogen oxides (NOx; NO and NO2) are limited emissions from combustion processes. They are not only harmful to human health, but also to the environment. This makes it necessary to measure and reduce nitrogen oxide emissions.

Pulse polarization is a novel method for NOx concentration measurements. In contrast to existing static principles, this method utilizes the dynamic response of the sensor, similar to cyclic voltammetry or impedance spectroscopy. For pulse polarization, the sensor is polarized with a constant voltage Upol for tpol (Fig. 1). After applying the voltage, the self-discharge of the sensor is recorded over a defined time tdischarge. Charging and discharging phases are repeated continuously, with alternating change of the charging voltage polarity.

It has been shown that NOx selectively accelerates the discharge of the Pt|YSZ system. The accelerated discharge can be used as a sensor signal by evaluating the voltages at a fixed time during the discharge phase. Due to the faster discharge, these voltages are below the values without nitrogen oxides and thus indicate the concentration of the analyte gas. A semi-log dependency between U and cNOx was found.

However, the effects that lead to faster and selective discharge have not yet been fully understood. In order to investigate the effect of the catalytically active Pt electrodes in particular, they were replaced by gold electrodes, which should yield a significantly lower catalytic impact.

To prepare the sensors, two rectangular gold electrodes were screen printed on both sides of an 8YSZ substrate and then fired at 850 °C. The sensors were contacted with Au wires by gap welding.

The sensors were operated at 400 °C in a tube furnace. For pulse polarization, a sourcemeter was periodically connected to the sensors via relays and the voltages were recorded. A polarization voltage of Upol = 1 V, a polarization duration tpol = 1 s and a discharge time tdischarge = 10 s were chosen. This lead to a total cycle time tcycle = 22 s.

To determine the gas concentration dependence in the discharge phase, a mixture of 10 % O2 with 2 % H2O in nitrogen was defined as base gas. In addition, NO, NO2, and a mixture of 50 % NO and NO2 (NOx) in concentrations between 50 and 200 ppm were added to the gas flow.

The sensor signals are shown in Fig. 2. The voltages U4s_neg shown were measured during self-discharging 4 s after each negative polarization. The long measuring time of 18 h and the cycle duration of 22 s result in over 2900 cycles during the measurement. The baseline of the voltage curve shows that the cycles are very stable during the entire measuring period. It is also noticeable that NO and NO2 have an opposite effect on the self-discharge of the sensor. While NO2 as well as a 50/50 mixture of NO and NO2 accelerate the discharge, NO gas decelerates it. This means, the resulting absolute value of U4s_neg is lower than that in NOx-free gas in case of accelerated discharge and higher at decelerated discharge. The mixture of 50% NO and 50% NO2 has an accelerating effect.

The accelerated self-discharge in the presence of NO2 was already observed for platinum electrodes. In contrast to this, the discharge decelerated by NO as found here for gold electrodes has not yet been observed on Pt electrodes. We attribute the behavior on platinum electrodes to the gas phase reactions that occur during diffusion through the electrode and to the assumption that the gases are almost in thermodynamic equilibrium at the three-phase contact between electrode, electrolyte and gas phase. At a temperature of 400 °C and an oxygen content of 10 %, this equilibrium is about 50 % NO and 50 % NO2. This would result in conditions similar to those for NOx to be dosed, which also accelerates the discharge. The equilibrium thus explains the same signal for NO and NO2.

The catalytically less active gold electrodes make it possible to separate the influence of NO and NO2. The strong oxidizing effect of NO2 is expected to play a key role in the sensor effect. By applying the voltages, oxygen is pumped from the cathode to the anode. This leads to a lack of oxygen at the cathode and an excess at the anode. After polarization, NO2 probably supplies the electrode, which is depleted of oxygen due to polarization, with additional oxide. This helps to reduce the oxygen gradient and thus leads to an accelerated discharge. In contrast, NO seems to slow down the oxygen supply at the oxygen depleted electrode and thus decelerate the discharge. The removal of oxygen at the oxygen-rich electrode seems to play a minor role. If both the oxygen supply on one side and the oxygen removal on the other were equally important, NOx would provide the strongest acceleration of the discharge.

Further data

Item Type: Conference item (Speech)
Refereed: Yes
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Engineering Science
Faculties > Faculty of Engineering Science > Chair Functional Materials > Chair Functional Materials - Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ralf Moos
Profile Fields > Advanced Fields > Advanced Materials
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center for Material Science and Engineering - BayMAT
Faculties > Faculty of Engineering Science > Chair Functional Materials
Profile Fields
Profile Fields > Advanced Fields
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 600 Technology, medicine, applied sciences > 620 Engineering
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2021 13:13
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2021 06:49