Collect. Czech. Chem. Commun. 1981, 46, 3057-3062

Examination of the potential of copper during its dissolution in sodium hydroxide

Petr Sušinka and Milica Miadoková

Department of Physical Chemistry, Comenius University, 816 50 Bratislava


Parallel to kinetic measurements, the potential of copper was monitored on the (100), (110), and (111) crystallographic planes during its spontaneous reaction in sodium hydroxide in oxygen atmosphere. A quantitative relation was obtained for the potential in dependence on the experimental conditions, indicating that unless a passivating layer of copper(II) oxide is formed on the surface, the metal does not act as an oxygen electrode. The potential change in the given medium was found to depend only on the amount of copper(I) oxide formed, obeying the relation E = (RT/nF) ln (mCu2O) + K; use was made of this relation for a quantitative determination of the growth of the copper(I) oxide layer.