The pH values obtained in the vicinity of a cathode surface where hydrogen evolution takes place are discussed using the concept of a diffusion layer. It is shown that a given current density I determines a hydrogen ion concentration Cmax in the solution, above which no hydroxide deposition at the cathode can be expected to take place. The shape of the pH distribution makes it possible to define a hydroxyl ion layer, the thickness of which approaches zero as the hydrogen ion concentration approaches Cmax. It is found that relatively high pH values (11–13) are easily obtained at a cathode surface, even in rather acid solutions. These results find some support in recent experimental work,(1) but further data are desirable.
|Journal of Inorganic and Nuclear Chemistry
|Published - 1959