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Re: Oxalic acid

One or two comments:
From what I remember of these things (it was a long time ago that I studied this stuff) I thought that the whole point of an electolitic reaction was just that, a REACTION. How can you get a reaction with an inert material, surely the point is to find a CHEAP electrode material because by the nature of these things, the electrodes react with the solution. Maybe I'm completely off base with this  so correct me if I am wrong.
Another point I would bear in mind is that, once again from what I remember, it's not the properties of the material that is important but the reactivity, a substance may be as hard as nails but if you push the right buttons it melts away.
Finally, If I'm wrong on everything else I'd guess that Titanium might be a neat electrode, but drilling it would be a pretty tough prospect, I remember trying this once and ended up giving up after destroying three drill bits and the drill (it was a cheap one:-)).
For carbon electrodes try an industrial or laboratory supplier, they usually have them in different sizes, well they do in Spain anyway.

Date: Wed, 27 Nov 2002 16:09:34 -0500
From: Bill Wichers <billw at waveform_net>

Subject: Re: Oxalic acid

> > Second, what material
> > could be used for the electrode to prevent formation of
oxalate? Coal?
> > (it is hard to find a coal electrode of decent size to
> > sufficient current density).
>	     Graphite would be the obvious choice, as it is pretty

Graphite could probably be acquired from a theatrical lighting supply
in the form of electrodes for carbon-arc lights (very old technology 
though, might be hard to find). Titanium is also pretty inert, and
be more durable as well as easier to find (http://www.onlinemetals.com). 
Just get some titanium rods, and either thread the ends or drill and
holes in the ends (depending on the size of the rod) to connect wires.

> > Would silver be of any use?
>         Not for the positive electrode:
>         Ag  -> Ag+  +  e-

Might also be cheaper to just use gaseous CO2 in cannisters at this
point ;-)

>	     I would get graphite electrodes, or one graphite
electrode to
>act as the positive one.  I would probably cut the voltage
>and stir the cell contents.

I would think graphite would be too brittle to easily work with.

I would suggest maybe a teflon container too to allow easy cleaning. 
Polyethylene would probably be a useable inexpensive substitute if
only planning on running low temperatures in your reaction vessel.

Waveform Technology
UNIX Systems Administrator


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