Original Paper

Journal of Solid State Electrochemistry

, Volume 10, Issue 10, pp 841-851

First online:

Current examples of practical and fundamental applications of DC polarography

  • Petr ZumanAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry, Clarkson University Email author 

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Examples of recent applications—applied, analytical, and fundamental are given. For these types of applications, an understanding of at least the number of electrons and protons transferred and the sequences of electron transfers and chemical reactions is essential. Polarography can be used for the determination of the active component in tablets and injection solutions, where it offers speed and sensitivity of the analytical method. Electroactive species can also be determined in heterogeneous systems without pre-separation. This has been taken advantage of in the investigation of reactions of bile salts with heavy metal ions or of binding of pesticides and other toxins on lignin. Polarography can also be used in the investigation of alkaline cleavage of lignin under mild conditions. Kinetics of this cleavage was used as a tool in proving that humic acids are not natural products. Among fundamental applications belong proofs of limited delocalization in groupings >C=N–N=C<, of diprotonation of hydrazones and oximes at the electrode surface, as well as of formation of imines as intermediates in reductions of hydrazones and oximes. Simultaneous determination of benzaldehyde and its hydrazone enabled providing experimental evidence for formation of carbinolamines as reaction intermediates and interpretation of the pH dependence of the equilibrium constant of this reaction. Differences in hydration of three isomeric phthalaldehydes are discussed as well as the covalent hydration of 1,2,4- and 1,3,5-triazines and pyrimidines. The ω,ω,ω-trifluoroacetophenone oxime the C=N bond is covalently hydrated.


DC polarography Drug analysis Binding on and cleavage of lignin Covalent hydration of C=O and C=N bonds Diprotonation of hydrazones and oximes Imines as intermediates Lack of conjugation in >C=N–N=C<