Standard Article

Thermodynamics of electrodes and cells

Fundamentals and Survey of Systems

Thermodynamics and kinetics of fuel cell reactions

  1. A. Hamnett

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470974001.f101003

Handbook of Fuel Cells

Handbook of Fuel Cells

How to Cite

Hamnett, A. 2010. Thermodynamics of electrodes and cells. Handbook of Fuel Cells. .

Author Information

  1. University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010


In this chapter the thermodynamic consequences of the Galvani potential difference at the electrode–electrolyte interface are explored. The Nernst equation is derived for a simple redox couple in solution, and extended to gas electrodes. The experimental consequences of the Nernst equation in terms of measurable cell quantities are discussed, and conventions used in describing cells covered.


  • electrode potential;
  • Nernst equation;
  • cell voltage;
  • electrochemical potential;
  • cell conventions