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International Journal of Electrochemistry
Volume 2011, Article ID 404605, 5 pages
Research Article

Some Applications of Bayes' Rule in Probability Theory to Electrocatalytic Reaction Engineering

Chemical Engineering Department, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G1

Received 7 February 2011; Accepted 25 April 2011

Academic Editor: Carlos F. Zinola

Copyright © 2011 Thomas Z. Fahidy. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Bayesian methods stem from the principle of linking prior probability and conditional probability (likelihood) to posterior probability via Bayes' rule. The posterior probability is an updated (improved) version of the prior probability of an event, through the likelihood of finding empirical evidence if the underlying assumptions (hypothesis) are valid. In the absence of a frequency distribution for the prior probability, Bayesian methods have been found more satisfactory than distribution-based techniques. The paper illustrates the utility of Bayes' rule in the analysis of electrocatalytic reactor performance by means of four numerical examples involving a catalytic oxygen cathode, hydrogen evolution on a synthetic metal, the reliability of a device testing the quality of an electrocatalyst, and the range of Tafel slopes exhibited by an electrocatalyst.