Letter | Published:

Effect of Alkaloids on Hydrogen Overpotential

Nature volume 159, pages 711712 (24 May 1947) | Download Citation



IT is well known that certain substances, such as arsenious oxide1, when added to a solution in which is a working electrode evolving hydrogen, considerably increase the hydrogen overpotential at the cathode. Such substances are often referred to as 'poisons' 2, and a detailed knowledge of their effects on irreversible electrode potentials appears to be of considerable importance in the elucidation of the mechanism of over potential. It seemed probable that some additives might exist which function as 'activators'and thus decrease hydrogen overpotential at various current densities. Such substances have been found among certain alkaloids of the quinoline group.

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  1. 1.

    and , Z. phys. Chem., 176, 161 (1936).

  2. 2.

    For example, see and , Trans. Farad. Soc., 37, 333 (1941).

  3. 3.

    , Z. phys. Chem., 50, 641 (1905).

  4. 4.

    , Coll. Czech Chem. Comm., 6, (3), 126 (1934).

  5. 5.

    and , Coll. Czech Chem. Comm., 6, (4–5), 204 (1934).

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  1. Department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry, Imperial College, London, S.W.7. March 3.

    • J. O'M. BOCKRIS
    •  & B. E. CONWAY


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