In Situ Transmission X-Ray Microscopy of the Lead Sulfate Film Formation on Lead in Sulfuric Acid

Knehr, K. W.; Eng, Christopher; Chen-Wiegart, Yu-chen Karen; Wang, Jun; West, Alan C.

Transmission X-ray microscopy is utilized to monitor, in real time, the behavior of the PbSO4 film that is formed on Pb in H2SO4. Images collected from the synchrotron x-rays are coupled with voltammetric data to study the initial formation, the resulting passivation, and the subsequent reduction of the film. It is concluded with support from quartz-crystal-microbalance experiments that the initial formation of PbSO4 crystals occurs as a result of acidic corrosion. In addition, the film is shown to coalesce during the early stages of galvanostatic oxidation and to passivate as a result of morphological changes in the existing film. Finally, it is observed that the passivation process results in the formation of large PbSO4 crystals with low area-to-volume ratios, which are difficult to reduce under both galvanostatic and potentiostatic conditions.


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Journal of The Electrochemical Society

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Academic Units
Chemical Engineering
Published Here
December 16, 2016