What are the products when brine (NaCl) is electrolysed using steel electrodes?

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Offline nhales

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Can anyone help. (Being a forum newbie please be gentle.)

I'm looking at chemical disposition with differing electrodes and sodium chloride NaCl dissolved in water H2O, a salt water solution. Voltage connected across electrodes approx 6V.

With both anode and cathode made of steel ferric oxide appears to be liberated from the anode, turning the solution brown.

With a steel anode and an aluminium cathode aluminium oxide appears to be liberated from the cathode.

Can anyone help me with the chemical reactions taking place?

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« Last Edit: 08/06/2008 22:12:25 by chris »


Offline RD

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Be aware that you could be creating an explosive mixture of hydrogen and oxygen gases ...

Using platinum electrodes, hydrogen gas will be seen to bubble up at the cathode, and oxygen will bubble at the anode. If other metals are used as the anode, there is a chance that the oxygen will react with the anode instead of being released as a gas. For example, using iron electrodes in a sodium chloride solution electrolyte, iron oxide will be produced at the anode, which will react to form iron hydroxide.