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Oxygen reduction at an anodically activated platinum rotating disk electrode



The reduction of oxygen in neutral saline solution and in seawater was studied using the rotating disk electrode (RDE). The objective was to test the applicability of the RDE as a primary reference standard for the measurement of oxygen concentrations below 0.1 ppm in seawater. Limited success was achieved with an activated platinum electrode. A gold electrode was less effective. If one postulates that the 2-electron reduction of oxygen at an activated RDE is rapid, it appears that little or no 4-electron reduction occurs and that the subsequent 2-electron reduction or catalytic decomposition of hydrogen peroxide is relatively slow. The anodic activation procedure developed appears to impart a transient catalytic activity to the electrode surface for the peroxide reaction(s).

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