(182g) The Electric Field in Water between Parallel Electrodes: A Sinusoidal Applied Potential Can Yield a Non-Zero, Long-Range Steady Field
AIChE Annual Meeting
Monday, October 30, 2017 - 2:45pm to 3:00pm
We use the standard electrokinetic model to numerically investigate the electric field in aqueous solutions between parallel electrodes under AC polarization. In contrast to prior work, we invoke no simplifying assumptions regarding the applied voltage, frequency, or mismatch in ionic mobilities. We find that the nonlinear electromigration terms significantly contribute to the overall shape of the electric potential vs. time, which at sufficiently high applied potentials develops multi-modal peaks. More surprisingly, we find that electrolytes with non-equal mobilities yield an electric field with non-zero time average at large distances from the electrodes. Our calculations indicate this long-range electric field suffices to levitate colloidal particles many microns away from the electrode against the gravitational field, in accord with experimental observations of such behavior (Woehl et al., PRX, 2015). Moreover, the results suggest that objects in water will rarely experience a sinusoidal applied electric field despite application of a perfectly sinusoidal applied potential, calling into question many theoretical calculations predicated on this assumption.