Dynamic electrochemical measurement of chloride ions

Yawar Abbas, Derk B. de Graaf, Wouter Olthuis, Albert van den Berg

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    This protocol describes the dynamic measurement of chloride ions using the transition time of a silver silver chloride (Ag/AgCl) electrode. Silver silver chloride electrode is used extensively for potentiometric measurement of chloride ions concentration in electrolyte. In this measurement, long-term and continuous monitoring is limited due to the inherent drift and the requirement of a stable reference electrode. We utilized the chronopotentiometric approach to minimize drift and avoid the use of a conventional reference electrode. A galvanostatic pulse is applied to an Ag/AgCl electrode which initiates a faradic reaction depleting the Clˉ ions near the electrode surface. The transition time, which is the time to completely deplete the ions near the electrode surface, is a function of the ion concentration, given by the Nernst equation. The square root of the transition time is in linear relation to the chloride ion concentration. Drift of the response over two weeks is negligible (59 µM/day) when measuring 1 mM [Clˉ]using a current pulse of 10 Am-2. This is a dynamic measurement where the moment of transition time determines the response and thus is independent of the absolute potential. Any metal wire can be used as a pseudo-reference electrode, making this approach feasible for long-term measurement inside concrete structures.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere53312
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of visualized experiments
    Issue number108
    Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2016


    • EWI-26729
    • IR-100778
    • METIS-318447


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