Electrochemical pneumatic actuators utilising carbon nanotube electrodes

Citation data:

Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, ISSN: 0925-4005, Vol: 138, Issue: 1, Page: 48-54

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Repository URL:
http://ro.uow.edu.au/aiimpapers/380; https://works.bepress.com/gwallace/125
Binbin Xi; Philip G. Whitten; Adrian Gestos; Van-Tan Truong; Geoffrey M. Spinks; Gordon G. Wallace
Elsevier BV
Materials Science; Physics and Astronomy; Engineering; Physical Sciences and Mathematics
article description
Electrochemical gas generation and consumption at carbon nanotube (CNT) electrodes was investigated as a means of powering pneumatic actuators. Two different types of carbon nanotubes were evaluated in a variety of aqueous electrolytes. Chlorine gas generation from aqueous sodium chloride electrolyte was found to be the most suitable system investigated, based on the ability to electrochemically reduce the gas generated. Carbon nanotubes produced by different techniques exhibit different chlorine oxidation and reduction capabilities with HiPCO nanotubes showing a higher electrochemical activity than nanotubes made by the laser ablation method. In a closed electrochemical cell fitted with a pressure transducer, the oxidation of Cl − ions to Cl 2 gas was ∼40% efficient based on the charge passed. In contrast, the reduction of Cl 2 gas pressure was almost 100% efficient, although the exact mechanisms of gas reduction were complicated by side reactions and kinetic processes. A carbon nanotube electrode of 2.4 mm 3 was capable of producing 0.5 cm 3 of gas at atmospheric pressure, or an increase of up to 50 kPa in a closed cell depending upon the headspace volume. The work capacity based on the size of the electrode was 5000 kJ/m 3, which is nearly two orders of magnitude larger than other low voltage electrochemical actuators.