Magnetic susceptibility as a direct measure of oxidation state in LiFePO4 batteries and cyclic water gas shift reactors
The possibility of correlating the magnetic susceptibility to the oxidation state of the porous active mass in a chemical or electrochemical reactor was analyzed. The magnetic permeability was calculated using a hierarchical model of the reactor. This model was applied to two practical examples: LiFePO4 batteries, in which the oxidation state corresponds with the state-of-charge, and cyclic water gas shift reactors, in which the oxidation state corresponds to the depletion of the catalyst. In LiFePO4 batteries phase separation of the lithiated and delithiated phases in the LiFePO4 particles in the positive electrode gives rise to a hysteresis effect, i.e. the magnetic permeability depends on the history of the electrode. During fast charge or discharge, non-uniform lithium distributionin the electrode decreases the hysteresis effect. However, the overall sensitivity of the magnetic response to the state-of-charge lies in the range of 0.03%, which makes practical measurement challenging. In cyclic water gas shift reactors, the sensitivity is 4 orders of magnitude higher and without phase separation, no hysteresis occurs. This shows that the method is suitable for such reactors, in which large changes of the magnetic permeability of the active material occurs.