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Journal of Analytical Methods in Chemistry
Volume 2018 (2018), Article ID 2681796, 5 pages
Research Article

Feasibility of Using an Electrolysis Cell for Quantification of the Electrolytic Products of Water from Gravimetric Measurement

Department of Chemistry, Columbus State University, Columbus, GA 31907, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Rajeev B. Dabke

Received 8 August 2017; Revised 19 November 2017; Accepted 12 December 2017; Published 5 February 2018

Academic Editor: Pablo Richter

Copyright © 2018 Samuel Melaku et al. 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.


A gravimetric method for the quantitative assessment of the products of electrolysis of water is presented. In this approach, the electrolysis cell was directly powered by 9 V batteries. Prior to electrolysis, a known amount of potassium hydrogen phthalate (KHP) was added to the cathode compartment, and an excess amount of KHCO3 was added to the anode compartment electrolyte. During electrolysis, cathode and anode compartments produced OH(aq) and H+(aq) ions, respectively. Electrolytically produced OH(aq) neutralized the KHP, and the completion of this neutralization was detected by a visual indicator color change. Electrolytically produced H+(aq) reacted with HCO3(aq) liberating CO2(g) from the anode compartment. Concurrent liberation of H2(g) and O2(g) at the cathode and anode, respectively, resulted in a decrease in the mass of the cell. Mass of the electrolysis cell was monitored. Liberation of CO2(g) resulted in a pronounced effect of a decrease in mass. Experimentally determined decrease in mass (53.7 g/Faraday) agreed with that predicted from Faraday’s laws of electrolysis (53.0 g/Faraday). The efficacy of the cell was tested to quantify the acid content in household vinegar samples. Accurate results were obtained for vinegar analysis with a precision better than 5% in most cases. The cell offers the advantages of coulometric method and additionally simplifies the circuitry by eliminating the use of a constant current power source or a coulometer.