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The project’s overall target is to arrive at a fundamental understanding of electrolyte thermodynamics and thus enable the engineering of a new generation of useful, physically sound models for electrolyte solutions.

These models should be general and applicable to a very wide range of conditions so that they can be potentially used for a wide range of applications.

Electrolyte solutions are present almost anywhere and find numerous applications in physical sciences including chemistry, geology, material science, medicine, biochemistry and physiology as well as in many engineering fields especially chemical & biochemical, electrical and petroleum engineering.

In all these applications the thermodynamics plays a crucial role over wide ranges of temperature, pressure and composition. As the subject is important, a relatively large body of knowledge has been accumulated with lots of data and models.

However, disappointingly the state-of-the art thermodynamic models used today in engineering practice are semi-empirical and require numerous experimental data. They lack generality and have not enhanced our understanding of electrolyte thermodynamics.

Going beyond the current state of the art, we will create the scientific foundation for studying, at their extremes, both “primitive” and “non-primitive” approaches for electrolyte solutions and identify strengths and limitations.

The ambition is to make new advances to clarify major questions and misunderstandings in electrolyte thermodynamics, some remaining for over 100 years, which currently prevent real progress from being made, and create a new paradigm which will ultimately pave the way for the development of new engineering models for electrolyte solutions.

This is a risky, ambitious and crucial task, but a successful completion will have significant benefits in many industrial sectors as well as in environmental studies and biotechnology.
The project is founded on a well-structured connection between fundamental understanding and macroscopic modeling.

At a practical level, the ambition is to yield a roadmap of what is possible and what not and when for engineering applications in electrolyte solutions and also, at a more fundamental level, to make new advances which will clarify some of the major confusions and misunderstandings in electrolyte thermodynamics which currently prevent real progress from taking place.

External collaborators:

Professor Athanassios Z. Panagiotopoulos (University of Princeton, USA)
Professor Ioannis Economou (NCSR “Demokritos”, Greece)
Professor Jean-Charles de Hemptinne (IFP Energies Nouvelles, France)

“This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 832460)”.