Industrial Electrodes

  • Hartmut Wendt
  • Gerhard Kreysa


Until the middle of the 20th century it was usual to operate technical electrolyses processes without caring much about electrocatalysis. But today catalytically activating electrodes by doping the electrode surface with an appropriate electrocatalyst became general state of the art, because energy savings by reducing electrode overpotentials are now imperative for improved process economy. Electrocatalysts are usually used in industrial electrolyzers as coatings on a supporting metal. The best known example is RuO2 on titanium electrodes (Table 10.1). In selecting electrocatalysts for technically applied electrodes the electrocatalytic activity is only one important criterion among several others. Criteria to be fulfilled are:
  1. (1)

    electrocatalytic activity;

  2. (2)

    high intrinsic electronic conductivity of the catalyst;

  3. (3)

    long term stability due to chemical stability or chemical inertness and physical stability that means hardness and good adherence to the electrode support;

    Table 10.1

    Development of catalytic coatings at ICI Mond Division


    Main constituent


    Mond Pt, Pt/Ir metal

    Electroplated Pt metal, Pt or Pt/Ir from paint platinizing formulation

    problems with passivation and adherence

    Improved Pt metal coating

    Pt electroplated in the presence of organic compounds

    non-passive under Hg- cell conditions

    Mond 1


    Coating composition depends on cell

    Mond 2

    RuO2 overglaze


    Mond 3



    Mond 5a/5b

    RuO2/TiO2 with added refractories

    Preferred coating in mercury cell

  4. (4)

    existence of simple and cheap methods for applying the catalytic coating;

  5. (5)

    chemical compatibility of coating and supporting metal;

  6. (6)

    high specific surface of the coating; and

  7. (7)

    low cost.



Fuel Cell Bipolar Plate Nickel Sulfide Raney Nickel Titanium Anode 
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Further Readings

  1. E Hine, Electrode Processes and Electrochemical Engineering, Plenum Press, New York 1985CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. H. Wendt, S. Rausch, Th. Borucinsky, Advances in Applied Catalysis, 40, 87 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hartmut Wendt
    • 1
  • Gerhard Kreysa
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut für Chemische TechnologieTU DarmstadtDarmstadtGermany
  2. 2.Karl Winnacker InstitutDECHEMA e. V.Frankfurt am MainGermany

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