A Chemical Model for Electrolytic Oxidation of Iodate


DURING an investigation of the electrolytic production of periodate from iodate, the oxidation of iodate was expressed mathematically as a chemical reaction in which gaseous oxygen formation competed with the desired reaction for the available supply of a common precursor material1. In writing the equations, liberties, which could be mathematically rationalized, were taken with the classical forms of the rate equation, but these liberties resulted in equations that could only approximate real counterparts. In particular, it was stated that “sometimes, in the early stages of the oxidation, the reaction proceeds at a very slow rate. This is attributed to an initial lack of catalytic activity at the surface …”. The question has always remained, whether or not the classical equations, which were modified mainly to facilitate solution, would not better express the total behaviour of an operating cell. Another intriguing question has been the identity and quantitative behaviour of the precursor material. Now the set of classical equations has been solved on an analogue computer and insight has been gained into the electrode processes which could occur.

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  1. 1

    Lancaster, E. B., and Conway, H. F., Electrochem. Technol., 1 (7–8), 253 (1963).

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LANCASTER, E., BUTTERFIELD, R. A Chemical Model for Electrolytic Oxidation of Iodate. Nature 207, 1193–1195 (1965). https://doi.org/10.1038/2071193b0

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