Solar Thermal Decoupled Electrolysis: Reaction Mechanism of Cobalt Oxidation

Faculty Sponsor

Robert Palumbo




Department of Chemistry and Department of Mechanical Engineering

ORCID Identifier(s)

0000-0003-2662-7592, 0000-0001-7111-0299, 0000-0002-8026-7770

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Summer 7-28-2015


The oxidation of Co(OH)2 at the anode of the H2 producing electrolytic cell was investigated via cyclic voltammetry (CV) and chronocoulometry to develop an explicit description of the reaction mechanism. It was found that the behavior at the anode is very complex; by varying the switching potentials and number of cycles in the CV, the shapes of the voltammograms change. Chronocoulometry studies provide evidence of a surface adsorption. From the CV studies, it was also discovered that Co(OH)2 is oxidized to CoOOH at a potential close to the thermodynamically predicted value of -0.112 V vs Ag/AgCl (3M NaCl) at 298 K.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

William Prusinski is a senior biochemistry student with a focus in physical chemistry. Solar research is of interest to him because it is an interdisciplinary effort involving chemistry and engineering. After graduating, he plans to continue his education with a graduate degree in chemistry and work in the field of energy.

Joshua Grade is a senior mechanical engineering major studying at Valparaiso University. After graduation, he plans to further pursue his interest in solar research in both electrochemistry and design. His interest in electrochemistry stems from his curiosity in developing solar technologies.

Daniel Kotfer is a junior studying in biology and chemistry. After graduation, he hopes to attend graduate or medical school and pursue a career in the medical field.

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