Electrochemical Engineering may be defined as "the understanding and development of practical materials and processes which involve electrochemical reactions" The discipline includes electrochemical methods of synthesis, process recycling, energy conversion and materials protection. Moreover, its importance must grow as society becomes more sensitive to the protection of the environment and the need for clean energy conversion.
Despite its academic and industrial importance, however, Electrochemical Engineering is perhaps still not a well-defined and accepted discipline outside of its circle of practitioners. Several detailed texts are available on electrochemical reactor design and electrochemical process engineering. These are invariably written from a chemical engineering point of view. The majority of students and practitioners in electrochemical technology are, however, chemists or materials engineers. Many students, academic colleagues and industrial workers have highlighted their difficulties in reading the chemical engineering literature. These considerations have persuaded me to adopt a simple mathematical approach in the present book. Whilst some of my fellow academic engineers may find the treatment dilute, I hope that they will understand that rigour has been sacrificed somewhat in order to widen the readership.
The interdisciplinary nature of electrochemical engineering presents problems in choosing a set of symbols and definitions; the situation is aggravated by ever changing conventions. I have sought to reconcile three sets of guidelines due to IUPAC (Physical Chemistry), EFChE (Working Party on Electrochemical Engineering) and (above all) consistency with D. Pletcher's sister book "A First Course on Electrode Processes"
In order to keep the text concise, many applications of electrochemical engineering have been omitted or treated only briefly. The interested reader is referred elsewhere (e.g. D. Pletcher and F.C. Walsh "Industrial Electrochemistry") for a more comprehensive treatment.
The worked examples later in the book stem from a mixture of research projects, industrial troubleshooting and student problems. Perhaps it is unusual that all of these examples have been developed from real reactors and electrochemical processes.
Finally, I must thank the many industrial colleagues who have provided photographs and other artwork as well as Carole Chatley for typing this manuscript and Michael Gillett for drawing the figures.