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ERIC Number: EJ1119585
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Nov
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Introduction to Electrochemistry and the Use of Electrochemistry to Synthesize and Evaluate Catalysts for Water Oxidation and Reduction
Hendel, Samuel J.; Young, Elizabeth R.
Journal of Chemical Education, v93 n11 p1951-1956 Nov 2016
Electrochemical analysis is an important skill to teach in chemistry curricula because it is a critical tool in current high-impact chemical research. Electrochemistry enables researchers to analyze a variety of systems extending from molecules to materials that encompass research themes ranging from clean energy to substrate activation in biological systems. Specifically, it can reveal information about catalytic efficiency, the role of catalysts, and the nature of chemical reduction and oxidation (redox) processes. Researchers working in the area of catalysis rely heavily on electrochemistry, using it to identify effective catalysts and optimize reaction conditions. This laboratory experiment begins with an introductory tutorial to electrochemistry by guiding students through the use of several electrochemical techniques using the ferricyanide/ferrocyanide redox couple as a model system. The techniques covered in the tutorial include cyclic voltammetry, differential pulse voltammetry, Tafel analysis, and bulk electrolysis. The protocol then applies these techniques to electrocatalysis by identifying and characterizing catalysts for hydrogen and oxygen generation in the water electrolysis reaction. Electrochemical methods are connected to current chemical research by focusing on catalysis in the context of renewable energy, which is a current societal and curricular imperative. The entire laboratory protocol described herein is conducted in groups of two to three students in a four hour laboratory period and is suitable for upper-level physical, analytical, or inorganic chemistry.
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A