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Adsorption — volcano curve


Theory of electrocatalysis

  1. S. Trasatti

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470974001.f202011

Handbook of Fuel Cells

Handbook of Fuel Cells

How to Cite

Trasatti, S. 2010. Adsorption — volcano curve. Handbook of Fuel Cells. .

Author Information

  1. University of Milan, Milan, Italy

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010


This chapter gives a theoretical description of electrocatalysis, providing fundamental aspects not related to particular experimental details. The relationship between intermediate adsorption and reaction rate is discussed. This includes the nature of the solid as well as its surface crystallographic orientation. Primary and secondary effects of the electrode material are illustrated in terms of double layer and chemisorption effects. The origin of volcano curves is demonstrated and their relation to the reaction mechanism pointed out. It is shown that no absolute evaluation of electrocatalysis is possible since the conditions at which electrical effects at the interface vanish are not known.


  • electrocatalysis;
  • reaction intermediate;
  • volcano curve;
  • pseudo-electrocatalysis;
  • synergetic effects