High Temperature Reference Electrodes

 

 

 

RESOURCES > REF ELECTRODES > HIGH TEMP

The question of high temperature reference electrodes seems to come up often and in a wide range of applications.  Here are a couple of extreme examples from the molten salt community.

Ag / AgCl - This is not your typical aqueous reference electrode, but rather an "electrode of the first kind".  It consists of a silver wire immersed in molten silver chloride (ref 1) ! The potential is controlled by the Ag(I)/Ag couple. An asbestos wick could be used to form a liquid junction between the AgCl and your melt.

Zn / Zn(II) - This reference electrode was used (ref 2) in a molten salt application in a ZnCl2, 2NaCl melt at 450C.  Molten zinc, in contact with the ZnCl2 / 2NaCl melt was used as a reference electrode.  A tungsten wire was used as a connection to the molten zinc. The potential is controlled by the Zn(II)/Zn(liq) couple. Because the solvent/electrolyte makes up one half of the couple, this reference electrode is not plagued by liquid junction potential uncertainties!

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REFERENCES
(1) "Reference Electrodes. Theory and Practice", DJG Ives & GJ Janz, eds., Academic Press, NY (1961).
(2) "Electrochemical study of the properties of iron ions in ZnCl2 + 2NaCl melt at 450C", Y Castrillejo, AM Martinez, M Vega, E Barrado, G Picard, J Electroanal Chem, 397(1995) 139.
 

 

 

 

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