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Electrochemical oxidation of a carbon black loaded polymer electrode in aqueous electrolytes

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Paul ChristensenORCiD, Professor Ronald Armstrong


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The suitability of a polymeric composite material for use as part of an anode structure in a cathodic protection system has been examined. The composite material was a conductive blend (volume resistivity typically 1.5 ω cm) of carbon black in a polyethylene binder. A long operational lifetime for the material demands that the rate of carbon loss must be low. In the work reported here, electrochemical and in situ analytical techniques were employed to characterise the performance of the material over a wide range of anodic current densities in a variety of aqueous electrolytes. The predominant anodic electrochemical reaction on the polymeric material is CO2in acid and neutral solutions, which causes loss of carbon from the surface and the development of a non-conducting layer of polyethylene. The characteristics of the reaction suggest that it occurs via the discharge of H2O In alkaline pH, however, the anodic reactions are more c. A high OP- concentration (pH 12 or higher) favours the formation of oxygen rather than CO2, particularly at low anodic potentials. The presence of CO2-2 in the electrolyte catalyses the evolution of oxygen at pH values as low as 9. The electrochemical formation of oxygen always occurs in parallel with the generation of some humic acid in the solution.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Eastwood BJ, Christensen PA, Armstrong RD, Bates NR

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Solid State Electrochemistry

Year: 1999

Volume: 3

Issue: 4

Pages: 179-186

Print publication date: 01/01/1999

ISSN (print): 1432-8488

ISSN (electronic): 1433-0768

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s100080050145


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