Journal of Applied Electrochemistry

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 23–30 | Cite as

Studies on promising cell performance with H2SO4 as the catholyte for electrogeneration of Ag2+ from Ag+ in HNO3 anolyte in mediated electrochemical oxidation process

  • K. Chandrasekara Pillai
  • M. Matheswaran
  • Sang Joon Chung
  • Il-Shik MoonEmail author
Original Paper


Electrochemical performance of a divided cell with electrogeneration of Ag2+ from Ag+ in 6 M HNO3 anolyte has been studied with 6 M HNO3 or 3 M H2SO4 as the catholyte. This work arose because in mediated electrochemical oxidation (MEO) processes with Ag(II)/Ag(I) redox mediator, HNO3 is generally used as catholyte, which, however, produces NO x gases in the cathode compartment. The performance of the cell with 6 M HNO3 or 3 M H2SO4 as the catholyte has been compared in terms of (i) the acid concentration in the cathode compartment, (ii) the Ag+ to Ag2+ conversion efficiency in the anolyte, (iii) the migration of Ag+ from anolyte to catholyte across the membrane separator, and (iv) the cell voltage. Studies with various concentrations of H2SO4 catholyte have been carried-out, and the cathode surfaces have been analyzed by SEM and EDXA; similarly, the precipitated material collected in the cathode compartment at higher H2SO4 concentrations has been analyzed by XRD to understand the underlying processes. The various beneficial effects in using H2SO4 as catholyte have been presented. A simple cathode surface renewal method relatively free from Ag deposit has been suggested.


Mediated electrochemical oxidation Ag2+ electrogeneration from Ag+ H2SO4 catholyte Ag+ migration Ag deposit Surface analysis Cell performance 



This work was supported by the Korean Ministry of Environment as “The Eco-technopia 21 project”, and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy (MOCIE) through Regional Innovation Centre (RIC), and the Korea Research Foundation and The Korean Federation of Science and Technology Society’s Grant funded by the Korea Government (MOEHRD, Basic Research Promotion Fund). One of the authors (KCP) wishes to thank the authorities of the University of Madras, Chennai-600 005, India for granting sabbatical leave.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Chandrasekara Pillai
    • 1
  • M. Matheswaran
    • 1
  • Sang Joon Chung
    • 1
  • Il-Shik Moon
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringSunchon National UniversitySuncheonRepublic of Korea

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