Evolution of Electrochemistry

Electricity in the form of lightning has been a source of wonder, inspiration and even fear. Naturally, in some of the ancient civilizations it was the weapon of the most powerful gods – Zeus the king of gods in the Greek Mythology and Indra in the Indian Mythology.

The earliest experiments involved Benjamin Franklin flying a kite during a thunderstorm. Some of the experiments involved Luigi Galvani who discovered that the the application of electricity to animal tissue could lead to contractions in the muscles and was used in the early 18th century as the for medical treatment and also involved multiple experiments on corpses. It was these set of experiments that the inspiration behind Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein where the “monster”, an amalgam of synthetic body parts was brought to life using electricity.

Electrochemistry, defined as “the study of chemical reaction at the interface of an electrode”, is essentially the study of applications of electricity in chemical reactions. It is the technology that tamed and brought this power to the industry and into our homes and now in our hands in the form of the ubiquitous battery.

Major breakthroughs in this field have invariably led to a better or new process or product. Volta invented the first battery which in turn led to the discovery of electrolysis which was applied to electroplating and methods of isolating highly reactive metals sodium and potassium. Much of the work done in the 19th century and the early 20th century led to the discovery of fundamental properties and models for the same. This included the work of luminaries like Ampere, Arrhenius, Faraday, Haber, Hall, Nernst and Ostwald.

One of the most relevant areas of research in this field is finding a solution to address the energy crisis that the world is facing. The major challenges faced by renewable sources is that they are intermittent – the output from a solar farm would fluctuate widely between a clear bright sunny day and a clouded/rainy day. The solution would be to store the extra energy on a high output day to supplement weak production during the bad days when directly supply is less than demand. As it is, this infrastructure constitutes a significant part of the costs of setting up a solar/wind power plant. Batteries that are cheaper, higher charge-discharge cycle limits, higher energy density would be able to drive down the cost in material, life-time and real-estate.

Research in the area is essential to further these technologies, and battery tech one good example. As this field is heavily experimental in nature, good and reliable equipment is indispensable. The cost of for the good and reliable experimental equipment from foreign manufacturers get prohibitively expensive, implying that only the very well funded labs would be able to afford one. Service is another issue – in case something goes wrong, it leads to exorbitantly high fee from the manufacturers.

Our goal is to develop international quality equipment. Our material is locally sourced and manufactured, our technology has been developed at IIT Kanpur.

With roots at one of the premier institutes in the country, we are confident that we will bring the best of electrochemical technology to its consumers at reasonable price. That embarks the solid foundation of Kanopy Techno Solutions, for excellence in electrochemistry.

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