The history of the potential and electrical current evolution of an industrial chlor-alkali membrane electrolyser is a powerful tool to track its operational efficiency progress over time and for deciding the required maintenance instants. For this reason, the performance of a dedicated industrial NaCl electrolyser was systematically analysed as a function of its service time for about 8 years, recording the cell potential versus current density. The documented potential values were normalized taking into account the initial current density, which allowed to reduce data scattering due to small fluctuations of the current density values. The ohmic overpotential contribution, associated to the ion-exchange membranes, showed an average relative error smaller than 3% and the activation overpotential, related to the electrodes' performance, displayed an average relative error of 6%. Thus, the proposed approach enables rigorous assessing of the performance of industrial chlor-alkali membrane electrolysers for adequate scheduling of their maintenance, which leads to significant operational and economic improvements of the chlor-alkali process.
- Chlor-alkali membrane electrolyser
- Energy consumption
- Service time