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Platinum Metals Rev., 1965, 9, (2), 58

Electrochemical Hydrogen Purification

The Use of A Modified Fuel Cell Technique

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Arising from research in the field of fuel cell technology, a novel electrochemical method for purifying hydrogen has been reported by J. E. McEvoy, R. A. Hess, C. A. Mills and H. Shalit, of Houdry Process and Chemical Co (ind. and Eng. Chem. Process Design and Development, 1965, 4, (1) 1). In a hydrogen-consuming fuel cell the gas is oxidised electrochemically at the anode, using oxygen supplied to the cathode and a suitable electrolyte separating the two electrodes. This system may be modified by the use of two highly reversible hydrogen electrodes operating in an electrolyte of 30 per cent H2SO4 to form a purification cell in which hydrogen containing impurities is consumed at the anode and quantitatively generated at the cathode. A small e.m.f. applied across the two electrodes provides the driving force. Both the anode and the cathode are prepared by incorporating a platinum-impregnated charcoal catalyst in a suitable carbon matrix.

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