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Author: Subject: Gore-Tex as a cell membrane
arkoma
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[*] posted on 26-5-2014 at 16:27
Gore-Tex as a cell membrane


I love electrochemistry--a few basics (salt, vinegar, scraps of wire and an ATX PS), some ingenuity and I'm hooked. I've had a "flower pot" crisis though; I scrounge my equipment. (If you've ever seen "My Three Sons", I'm the Uncle Charlie in this camp).

I ran across this:

Quote:
 PTFE has outstanding electrical properties and is chemically inert. Gore-Tex, porous PTFE, retains the electrical properties of that material but is also lightweight. That is possible because electricity can move through the Gore-Tex as well as it moves through the air pockets in the Gore-Tex.

 Gore-Tex can be heat sealed. This makes an infinite number of shapes possible.

http://cool.conservation-us.org/coolaic/sg/bpg/annual/v11/bp...


WeIl, I happen to have a large USMC Gore-Tex outer coat shell.
I cut the hood off
and then I cut up a daggum water bottle to use as a crude form to wrap the Gore-Tex around. I didn't want to arbitrarily cut up my limited supply. I ran it for 6 hours as a chlor-alkali cell. Figured I'd give the G-T a stress test.

Anodic liquid: 300 ml H2O and 50 gm NaCl with a lead electrode.

Cathodic liquid 1 l H2O and 50 gm NaCl with an aluminum electrode (locks up the +OH a bit for less caustic solution for this proof-of-concept).

12 volts out of old 250 w ATX PS.

So frar flying colors.

I've kept good notes but I'm too excited at the moment to put it all down rationally. Anyone else done this? I UTFSE"ed first no hits
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jwpa17
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[*] posted on 26-5-2014 at 20:02


I'm a little puzzled. The page you cite states, "Even though Wibert Gore imagined his new material as an insulator for wires, now pure Gore-Tex wires are used in some situations. PTFE has outstanding electrical properties and is chemically inert." but Wikipedia gives Teflon an extremely high resistivity - and air doesn't conduct well, either.
Are you saying that your Gore-Tex membrane is conducting? Or not?
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froot
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[*] posted on 26-5-2014 at 22:28


My theory: The porosity of the material improves it's conductivity by trapping tiny amounts of electrolyte in it's matrix, it's by no means an ion selective membrane but it will have decent electrolyte separation properties. LOVE the idea, thanks for sharing!



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arkoma
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[*] posted on 27-5-2014 at 05:27


I ran this thing for 19 hours @12v
Definitely NaOH and NaOCl produced, and the membrane no worse for the wear, and good separation of my liquids--ph 14 one side, neutral the other. Slight bleaching
of the inside camouflage pattern The hydroxide side

I'm seeing the entire coat cut up SOON :D

edit: @jwpa--the daggum reference got me thinking about it, why I included it. I'm going to check and see if the G-T conducts by itself and will get back to you.

[Edited on 5-27-2014 by arkoma]
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Morgan
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[*] posted on 27-5-2014 at 06:16


"Gore wire and cable can withstand the heat of ignition ..."
http://cool.conservation-us.org/coolaic/sg/bpg/annual/v11/bp...

Construction A silver-plated copper conductor
insulated with overlapping tapes of
GORE™ Corona Resistant PTFE
(CR-PTFE), and sintered into a
homogeneous insulation.
Temperature rating From cryogenic to 180° C
continuous use temperature
http://www.bj-ribbon.com.cn/Products/GORE/pdfdoc/downf10.pdf
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Refinery
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[*] posted on 27-5-2014 at 13:21


I theoretized about this idea sometime ago, and if you get chlorine gas out from your electrolysis cell, I am very interested.
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BromicAcid
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[*] posted on 27-5-2014 at 14:15


Quote: Originally posted by arkoma  
Definitely NaOH and NaOCl produced, and the membrane no worse for the wear, and good separation of my liquids--ph 14 one side, neutral the other. Slight bleaching
of the inside camouflage pattern


Did you get any bubbling of chlorine? If the membrane were perfect your pH would be acidic on the anode side from elemental chlorine hydrolyzing in the water plus I would expect chlorine to be actively evolved since that is the classic chloroalkali process.




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arkoma
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[*] posted on 27-5-2014 at 21:26


I could smell Cl and see bubbling at the anode and cathode both. I'm running somewhat ghetto (but I'm having a blast and trying to do good science); my indicators consist of cabbage, rose, and red petunia solutions absorbed on coffee filter. I get a good yellow on them with saturated NaOH solution so I can say "ph 14" with good certainty. Neutrals a bit more "iffy". My SD reader is acting up this evening--I've been taking bunches of pictures which i will share along with my data when i slow down a bit; I'm like a 6 year old boy excited at the moment!
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elementcollector1
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[*] posted on 28-5-2014 at 10:04


Hey, this is some great research! Gore-Tex is a lot easier to come by than Nafion - I wonder if I could just stick a glove in my cell and use that? :P
On a side note, what about separation? Can the Gore-Tex membrane hold water?




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Zyklon-A
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[*] posted on 28-5-2014 at 10:29


You have gloves made out of Gore-Tex?
A plastic rain coat might work as well. I have an old chlor-alkali cell, that I made a long time ago, I'll try with a "rain coat membrane." Might just work.




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arkoma
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[*] posted on 28-5-2014 at 12:56


After running a piece of my coat through the washer, I realized I could split the layers.


Clobbered up another "chlor-alkali" cell, and I think the proof is in the pictures. Used the "white" layer of the material. Cell has been running less than an hour.



Anodic liquid

Cathodic liquid

I'm fully expecting one of the very sharp young people we have here to take off and RUN with this :D
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[*] posted on 30-5-2014 at 13:17



Have you got anything against the auld blunt fellas?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Sheet-of-DPM-Gore-tex-Gortex-Goret...

This would make a good cell?

Nice piece of work arkoma.
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arkoma
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[*] posted on 30-5-2014 at 13:30


Yeah man. Looks just like my old USMC jacket. And I am an "auld blunt fella" :P

*update* DON'T split the membrane, it leaks then. grrrrr.
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[*] posted on 25-3-2017 at 18:21


Has anyone tried a successful electrochemical reduction with the Goretex membrane? (as cell divider)

[Edited on 26-3-2017 by HollowMan]
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[*] posted on 26-3-2017 at 01:03


This stuff is dirt cheap and is called G R tex, it seems to be made out of polyester but it has the membrane type properties advertised.
Page is in dutch tho, get Google Translate ready!
http://www.actiefstoffen.nl/voering-inlaystof-watten/INTERLI...
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[*] posted on 26-3-2017 at 02:00


Arkoma - how many layers did the gortex have? I've found 1-3 layer fabric as well as single layer ripstop that is pretty thin. I'm wondering if single layer would work or if each layer has different pourosity. How many layers did yours have? You mention seperating so it had at least 2. Was the material ripstop that you used?
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Tsjerk
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[*] posted on 26-3-2017 at 05:11


I used goretex as membrane, without success but that was not because of the membrane, and mine had two layers. One with holes that looked like a supporting layer and a white closed layer which must be the PTFE layer. I let them be together.
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[*] posted on 26-3-2017 at 05:43


Has anyone tried Tyvek as a membrane? I remember reading about this having potential but never heard of anyone testing it.


I'd be happy to be the one that tests this but I'm not sure how to make the cell - basically what material can be used for the container/vessel and how to afix the membrane across the middle of it. I'm wondering if something like the disposable Ziploc plastic containers would work and hot glue to seal the Tyvek across the middle. The glue I have melts at 245F so it won't melt even in boiling water and I think it holds up under caustic solution fairly well. This setup would only be for a test run to see if the membrane works, not for production.

As for anode and cathode, I have Cu, Al, graphite plates, Zn plate, stainless, and lead. which would be better for this?

[Edited on 26-3-2017 by RogueRose]
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[*] posted on 26-3-2017 at 06:01


I used a tube as container for the anolyte. The membrane is cut in a circle and folded around the outside of the tube and hold in place with tape. The membrane was folded out a bit at the bottom so it forms sort of a bag, for bigger anolyte contact area on the inside.

The tube is than placed hovering in a bigger container holding the catholyte.

I had my compound to reduce in the bigger volume catholyte, but you can of course change the two compartments if you are oxidizing something.
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[*] posted on 26-3-2017 at 09:30


Hm so none of you tried an electrochemical reduction with the Goretex membrane?

Would be great if this works.

Let me know
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Tsjerk
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[*] posted on 26-3-2017 at 09:36


For me it seemed to work, nice conductivity and as far as I could seen there was no mixing between anolyte and catholyte. I just don't have a product to prove the functionality.
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[*] posted on 26-3-2017 at 10:59


Quote: Originally posted by Tsjerk  
For me it seemed to work, nice conductivity and as far as I could seen there was no mixing between anolyte and catholyte. I just don't have a product to prove the functionality.


Maybe I should give it a try.

But how about your anode pH? should it react acidic after cl2 evolution?
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