Electrochemical analysis

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Electrochemical analysis

Analytical methods based on the electrochemical properties exhibited by the test substance and its variations are referred to electrochemical analysis. Electrochemical analysis methods can be further divided into conductance testing, potentiometric analysis, electrolysis analysis, coulometry, polarography and voltammetry. Electrochemical analysis method is very sensitive and is suitable for the analysis and identification of trace or ultra-trace components. It is a quick method for qualitative and quantitative, but also for chemical equilibrium or electrode reaction analysis.

Conductance testing

Conductance testing is an electrochemical analysis method that measures changes in conductance. It is based on the principle that the conductance of the solution is related to the concentration of various ions, the speed of movement and the number of ionic charges.

There are three main applications of conductance testing:

Evaluation of water purity: Since the main impurities in pure water are soluble inorganic salts, which exist in the ionic state. So the conductivity of water can be measured to evaluate the concentration of impurities. It has been commonly used for monitoring water quality in laboratories and public areas.

Automatic control analysis in industrial production processes, such as monitoring CO and CO2 content.

Conductometric titration: In a typical titration analysis, conductance is applied to the titration systems to indicate the end point of the titration.

Potentiometric analysis

As a linear analysis method, potentiometric analysis is undergoing fast growth these years. The potentiometric measuring instrument has the advantages such as low cost, small volume, etc.

Potential analysis is used in environmental monitoring and metal testing. For example, the amount of fluoride in the atmosphere, water, soil and plants, the pollution of metal lead ions in water, the content of an element in a metal material, etc. Recently this method has been applied to polymer analysis as well. Many polymers are dark, insoluble in water, which makes it difficult to find a suitable indicator, and it is hard to observe the end point of the titration. Using the pH glass electrode as the indicator electrode, satisfactory results can be obtained.

Electrolysis analysis

This method is based on weighing the deposits on the surface of the electrode. Electrolysis is widely used in the metallurgical industry, such as metal extraction (electrolytic metallurgy) or purification (electrolytic purification) from ores or compounds, and metal deposition (electroplating) from solution.


Coulometry is the name given to a group of techniques in analytical chemistry that determine the amount of matter transformed during an electrolysis reaction by measuring the amount of electricity (in coulombs) consumed or produced. Its applications include determining the amount of water in inorganic or organic materials, the chemical oxygen demand in water pollution, etc. For example, coulometric analyzer has been used in measuring moisture in oils in the petroleum industry.


Polarography is an electrochemical analysis method to determine the concentration of a substance in solution by measuring a current-potential (or potential-time) curve of a polarized electrode during electrolysis. The polarographic method has many applications due to its advantages of wide range measurable components, high accuracy, good reproducibility, and continuous measurement. Polarographic methods can be used for qualitative and quantitative analysis of majority of metal ions, organic matters such as carbonyl, nitroso, organic halides, etc.


Voltammetry is a category of electroanalytical methods used in analytical chemistry and various industrial processes. In voltammetry, information about an analyte is obtained by measuring the current as the potential is varied. The analytical data for a voltammetric experiment comes in the form of a voltammagram which plots the current produced by the analyte versus the potential of the working electrode. The highly sensitive voltammetric analysis is one of electroanalytical methods that have been developed rapidly in recent years. It has been employed in different research subjects. In bioanalysis, it is expected to be used for rapid detection of protein disease markers, or the drug content. In environmental analysis, it is used for element detection.


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