September 26, 2020, 04:46:57 AM
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Topic: Electrolysis of Potassium Nitrate  (Read 279 times)

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Offline sterster88

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Electrolysis of Potassium Nitrate
« on: July 02, 2020, 07:14:43 PM »
I have been trying a few different ways to handle the electrolysis of Potassium Nitrate to determine the safest and easiest way I can make nitric acid and potassium hydroxide. In the last experiment I tried, I used new platinized titanium electrodes for both the anode and cathode. Turns out that the source I bought these electrodes from was not reliable and they were fake. The side that was supposed to make nitric acid (I believe it is the anode but I always mix up the names) reacted with the distilled water and acid. It was destroyed and I'm left with a reddish brown liquid that is pretty acidic (somewhere around 4.5 ph). Does anyone know what happened or what this contamination is? I have it stored safely now, but I'm not sure if I should try to salvage it or neutralize it. I have about 750 mL.

Offline Borek

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Re: Electrolysis of Potassium Nitrate
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2020, 02:38:11 AM »
pH 4.5 is not that acidic, that's your average beer.
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Offline chenbeier

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Re: Electrolysis of Potassium Nitrate
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2020, 03:18:02 AM »
Probably you got Titanoylperxo complexTi(O2)2+ during the electrolysis. The nitrate oxidize the Titanium electrode. Gives orange brown color.

Offline sterster88

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Re: Electrolysis of Potassium Nitrate
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2020, 08:07:24 AM »
Probably you got Titanoylperxo complexTi(O2)2+ during the electrolysis. The nitrate oxidize the Titanium electrode. Gives orange brown color.

Thanks for the information. I've looked into it some and your suggestion seems very likely.

Offline Enthalpy

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Re: Electrolysis of Potassium Nitrate
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2020, 08:17:47 AM »
Would gold on copper suffice? At least it's easily tried.

Scavenge or buy a used Dram module. Weld a good copper wire across all contacts. Immerse only the gold-plated end connector. The gold plating is rumoured to contain a bit of nickel or cobalt, which shouldn't hurt.

Maybe nickel-plated copper is good enough, if you find a part made of these materials.

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