Schematic plot of a system with a movable wall.

Identification of the best medium for experiments on chemical computation with Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction and ferroin-loaded Dowex beads

F. Muzika, J. Gorecki

Reaction Kinetics, Mechanisms and Catalysis, 2022


Our study is focused on identification of the best medium for future experiments on information processing with Belousov–Zhabotinsky reaction proceeding in Dowex beads with immobilized catalyst inside. The optimum medium should be characterized by long and stable nonlinear behavior, mechanical stability and should allow for control with electric potential. We considered different types of Dowex ion-exchange resins, bead distributions and various initial concentrations of substrates: malonic acid and 1,4-cyclohexanedione. The electric potential on platinum electrodes, stabilized by a potentiostat is used to control medium evolution. A negative electric potential generates activator species HBrO2 on the working electrode according to the reaction: BrO3  + 2e  + 3H+  → HBrO2 + H2O, while positive electric potential attracts inhibitor species Br to the proximity of it. We study oscillation amplitude and period stability in systems with ferroin loaded Dowex 50W-X2 and Dowex 50W-X8 beads during experiments exceeding 16 h. It has been observed, that the above mentioned resins generate a smaller number of CO2 bubbles close to the beads than Dowex 50W-X4, which makes Dowex 50W-X2 and Dowex 50W-X8 more suitable for applications in chemical computing. We report amplitude stability, oscillation frequency, merging and annihilation of travelling waves in a lattice of Dowex 50W-X8 beads (mesh size 50–100) in over 19 h long experiments with equimolar solution of malonic acid and 1,4-cyclohexanedione. This system looks as a promising candidate for chemical computing devices that can operate for a day.

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