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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 16 (2011) pp 326-328

Construction of a Novel Reversible Hydrogen Electrode (RHE)

Teresa Buendía-Delgadillo, Fernando Delgadillo-Núñez, Norberto Casillas, Jorge G. Ibanez*,§, Maximiliano Barcena-Soto

†Departamento de Ingeniería Química, ‡Departamento de Química. Centro Universitario de Ciencias Exactas e Ingenierías, Universidad de Guadalajara. Blvd. Marcelino García Barragán #1451, Guadalajara, Jal., 44430, México, §Depto. de Ing. y C. Químicas, Universidad Iberoamericana, Prol. Reforma #880, Lomas de Santa Fe, México, D.F. 01219, México,
Received June 17, 2010. Accepted September 2, 2010.

Published: 21 December 2011

Abstract. A novel reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE) is built and applied to the measurement of equilibrium potentials of several redox couples. Its operating principle is similar to that of a Normal Hydrogen Electrode (NHE) in that the potential for both is set by the H+/H2 couple. The proposed construction of this novel RHE is simpler and safer. Here, a Pt wire is placed inside a glass tube sealed at one end and filled with an H+ solution of unit activity. H2 gas is generated by electrolysis and becomes trapped at the top of the tube so that one section of the Pt wire is in contact with this gas and another section with an H+ solution of unit activity. This experimental setup avoids the requirement for bubbling H2 gas on platinized Pt foil at P = 1 atm as in a typical NHE.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; general chemistry; indicator; pKa; red cabbage; spectrophotometry

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