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Development of an electrochemical balance to measure quantitatively hydrogen generation during electrochemical processes

  • Authors: Bottini, L.; Santamaria, M.; Curioni, M.
  • Publication year: 2017
  • Type: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • Key words: Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials; Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment; Surfaces, Coatings and Films; Electrochemistry; Materials Chemistry2506 Metals and Alloys
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A new method to measure the amount of hydrogen generated from the surface of an immersed electrode is presented in this work. The method consists of a mechanical balance with a horizontal arm attached to two hydrogen-collecting containers that are submerged in two independent electrochemical cells. One of the two cells (the test cell) contains the electrode of interest, generating an unknown amount of hydrogen, whereas the other cell (the measurement cell) contains an inert electrode that is used to evolve an amount of hydrogen equal to that generated in the test cell, such as the mechanical equilibrium between the sides of the balance is constantly maintained. Adequate electrical connections and circuitry ensures that, as hydrogen is evolved from the electrode of interest in the test cell, the displacement of the balance arms activates an electrical contact, which triggers the hydrogen evolution in the measuring cell. Once a sufficient amount of hydrogen is evolved from the measuring cell, the horizontal arm is displaced in the opposite direction and the electrical contact to the measuring cell is interrupted. The measurement of the current flowing through the measuring cell enables precise estimation of the amount of hydrogen generated in the test cell.