Effects of solution pH on sulfite oxidation at a gold electrode

  • Oksana N. NovgorodtsevaEmail author
  • Alexander Zelinsky
Original Paper


The oxidation of sulfite at a renewable gold electrode in solutions with pH values ranging from 2 to 14 was studied using voltammetry. The voltammogram obtained for sulfite oxidation did not change when the solution pH was varied from 2 to 11, indicating that the process rate is independent of the acidity and partial composition of the solution. This result is in agreement with the overall reaction for the dimerization of sulfite ions, which leads to the formation of dithionate: \( 2{\mathrm{S}\mathrm{O}}_3^{2-}\to {\mathrm{S}}_2{\mathrm{O}}_6^{2-}+2{\mathrm{e}}^{-} \). Within the pH range 11–14, an increase in pH was accompanied by a shift in the sulfite oxidation potential and a decrease in the current. This result is concordant with the O-transfer reaction, which leads to the formation of sulfate: \( {\mathrm{SO}}_3^{2-}+2{\mathrm{OH}}^{-}\to {\mathrm{SO}}_4^{2-}+{\mathrm{H}}_2\mathrm{O}+2{\mathrm{e}}^{-} \). The mechanism of sulfite oxidation changes across the pH range 11–12.5; the reaction occurs in a narrow potential range (0.6–0.8 V) in this pH interval and is accompanied by anomalously sharp changes in the measured current.


Sulfite Oxidation Gold electrode Solution pH 


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Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Solid State Chemistry and MechanochemistrySiberian Branch of Russian Academy of SciencesNovosibirskRussia

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