Electro-convective versus electroosmotic instability in concentration polarization

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24 Scopus citations


Electro-convection is reviewed as a mechanism of mixing in the diffusion layer of a strong electrolyte adjacent to a charge-selective solid, such as an ion exchange (electrodialysis) membrane or an electrode. Two types of electro-convection in strong electrolytes may be distinguished: bulk electro-convection, due to the action of the electric field upon the residual space charge of a quasi-electro-neutral bulk solution, and convection induced by electroosmotic slip, due to electric forces acting in the thin electric double layer of either quasi-equilibrium or non-equilibrium type near the solid/liquid interface. According to recent studies, the latter appears to be the likely source of mixing in the diffusion layer, leading to 'over-limiting' conductance in electrodialysis. Electro-convection near a planar uniform charge selective solid/liquid interface sets on as a result of hydrodynamic instability of one-dimensional steady state electric conduction through such an interface. We compare the results of linear stability analysis obtained for instabilities of this kind appearing in the full electro-convective and limiting non-equilibrium electroosmotic formulations. The short- and long-wave aspects of these instabilities are discussed along with the wave number selection principles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-200
Number of pages11
JournalAdvances in Colloid and Interface Science
StatePublished - 31 Oct 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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