Doctoral Dissertations


San-Cheng Lai


"The distinctive features of electrochemical energy conversion is the direct conversion of the chemical energy of a reaction into electrical energy without going through the intermediary of heat, thereby avoiding the Carnot limitation. Since it is theoretically possible to obtain electrical energy to the extent of the free energy change of the chemical reaction, the overall thermal efficiencies expected are nearly 100 percent. However, the observed efficiencies of most electrochemical energy converters are considerably lower than this due to a slowness of one or more of the intermediate steps of the overall reaction. There has been a recent surge of studies on the electro-oxidation of hydrocarbons because of their possible use as fuels in electrochemical conversion. The widespread use of fuel cells hinges on a cheap and readily available fuel such as natural gas, propane, or methane that can be oxidized at moderate temperatures. From the economic standpoint, hydrocarbons have a clear advantage over other fuels suggested for use. They also have a further advantage of being easily handled and distributed through established systems. Therefore, it is important that these specialized fuel cells are developed and commercialized. Since most fuel cells studies have been concerned with technological aspects, the results are usually too complex to allow electrode kinetic analysis. The more fundamental aspects of several organic systems have been studied. Previous studies of the electro-oxidation of ethylene on Au in acid had not been directed toward determining all the reaction parameters which are useful in diagnosing a mechanism. It has been reported that Pt alloys have shown an even higher catalytic activity then pure Pt black. This refers particularly to alloys of the Pt-Ru system and to a lesser degree of alloys with Ir and Rh. These catalysts were found to be active for the oxidation of a number of organic fuels such as methanol and selected hydrocarbons. The object of this reported investigation was to establish the mechanisms for the anodic oxidation of ethylene on Au and Au-Pt alloy electrodes in aqueous solutions. It was believed that this research would lead to a better understanding of the rate processes of electrochemical reactions in general on alloy electrodes"--Introduction, page 1-2.


Johnson, James W., 1930-2002

Committee Member(s)

Strunk, Mailand R., 1919-2008
Gillett, Billy E.
Park, Efton
James, William Joseph


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Degree Name

Ph. D. in Chemical Engineering


University of Missouri--Rolla

Publication Date



ix, 120 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 91-93).


© 1968 San-Cheng Lai, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Electric power production from chemical action
Electrolytic oxidation

Thesis Number

T 2168

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