Journal of Applied Electrochemistry

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 344–349 | Cite as

Comparative study of copper behaviour in bicarbonate and phosphate aqueous solutions and effect of chloride ions

  • M. Drogowska
  • L. Brossard
  • H. Ménard


Copper oxidation in aqueous solutions of pH 8 showed some differences in the presence of bicarbonate and phosphate ions. The bicarbonate ions did not interfere with Cu2O film formation but the Cu2+ ions were stabilized by the complexing action of CO 2− 3 anions. In phosphate solutions, copper dissolved in the range of potentials associated with the Cu(I) oxidation state and the Cu(II) compound on the surface resulted in an extensive passivation region. In both solutions, a higher ion concentration caused an increase in the anodic current, suggesting that the copper ions were stabilized by the complexing action of the electrolyte. The copper oxidation current in a bicarbonate solution was higher than that observed in a phosphate solution of the same concentration. The thickness of the Cu(II) film rather than the Cu(I) layer appears to be the important factor related to the stability of the passive layer on the copper surface. The shift in the breakdown potential toward more positive values indicates that both bicarbonate and phosphate ions inhibit localized corrosion due to the presence of chloride ions. Their protective effect depends on the concentration of each anion, although the concentration of chloride ions necessary for pitting is larger in phosphate solutions than in bicarbonate solutions. In both solutions, long-term immersion of copper under anodic polarization results in the precipitation of a protective coating.


Bicarbonate Cu2O Anodic Polarization Passive Layer Copper Behaviour 
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Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Drogowska
    • 1
  • L. Brossard
    • 2
  • H. Ménard
    • 1
  1. 1.Département de ChimieUniversité de SherbrookeSherbrookeCanada
  2. 2.Institut de Recherche d'Hydro-Québec (IREQ)VarennesCanada

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