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PbO2 by electrolysis

  1. Sep 3, 2008 #1
    A while back I did an experiment, I placed two lead sheets in a H2SO4 solution, exposed it to a charging current and tested the battery there after.

    As I understand it, the battery worked by the metal combination of PbO2 and Pb, and through electrolysis I formed the PbO2 directly on the plate.

    The result of the experiment was a working battery. Now my question:

    If in fact what I understand is correct, why the fuss with coating the lead plated with PbO2, using other less natural ways? Like using a plating solution of lead nitrate, or pressing the powdered lead dioxide right onto the electrode.

    On my search for suitable replacements of Platinum electrodes I ran a crossed lead dioxide, and although I am not sure quite yet if lead dioxide would fill my needs, it did raise the question for me.

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 3, 2008 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    One of the reasons: you can have ready battery, that can be transported dry and filled with an acid on site. Such a battery wont leak even if it is dropped or hit, so it is much safer to move.
  4. Sep 3, 2008 #3
    I thought I understood the mechanism that would produce the lead dioxide on the electrode, but I have read about electrode preparation involving the plating of the PbO2 on a substrate like titanium, carbon, and lead. This doesn’t make sense to me when it comes to lead, as I thought it would be a byproduct of electrolysis.
  5. Sep 3, 2008 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    These are different cases. You may produce PbO2 on the lead surface during electrolysis in sulfuric acid; no doubt about it. But when you want to plate PbO2 by dry method on the dry electrode, you have to use tricks. Just pouring dry, powdered PbO2 wont suffice.
  6. Sep 3, 2008 #5
    Borek thank you for your replies, you have answered my intended question, (I think) but for clairification, even though a simple experiment would suffice, I still wonder if I would have problems useing a lead electrode for electrolysis production of oxygen gas.
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