The apparent valence of pure zinc dissolving anodically in 3% KNO3 was determined as a function of current density, temperature, and ultrasonic agitation. The apparent valence of zinc dissolving anodically at 24°C diminishes from 2.01 ± 0.01 at low current densities to 1.86 at about 50 ma and remains fairly constant up to about 80 ma cm−2. This valence is affected to some extent by the preparation, e.g., polishing of the electrode, but is independent of its structure (mono- or polycrystal). Ultrasonic vibrations do not influence the apparent valence at high current densities. In all cases a black film (corrosion product) spalls off the anode but to a larger extent with ultrasonics. The apparent valence decreases with increasing temperature (measurements between 25° and 68°C) and again with increasing current density, and appears to vary as a function of metal history. Fine metallic Zn particles are found in the dark corrosion product. The average size of the particles increases with increasing temperature. On the basis of the above, it is concluded that the normal valency of zinc ions, +2, does not change during anodic dissolution in nitrate solutions, but the apparent valence of less than 2 arises as a consequence of increased local corrosion and of surface disintegration of the anode. Both occur outside the electrical circuit thus accounting for the lower coulombic equivalent. A mechanism for the disintegration phenomenon is presented. © 1967, The Electrochemical Society, Inc. All rights reserved.


Materials Science and Engineering

Second Department


International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1945-7111; 0013-4651

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





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Publication Date

01 Jan 1967