Master's Theses

Date of Award

Summer 1964

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Max Rumpel


The specific problem of this thesis was to gather evidence bearing upon the existence of a +1 oxidation state for tin. When the loss in weight of a metal anode is due solely to oxidation of the metal to its cation by an electrolytic current, Faradays' Law provides a convenient measurement of the average charge per metal ion as the ions leave the anode. It is necessary only to determine the weight loss of the metal due to anodic oxidation by a known amount of current. The average charge per metal ion, so determined, has been designated as the initial moan valence, Vi, and is calculated by the following equation: Vi = No. of Faradays of current passed / No. of Gm.-atoms of metal dissolved electrolytically. The weight of metal dissolved electrolytically must be distinguished from any other anodic weight loss which may occur simultaneously with the anodic oxidation of the metal. Anodes of tin and tin amalgam were electrolyzed in the presence of various salt solutions. Quantity of electricity passed during each trial was determined with a silver coulometer. The Vi values for tin in aqueous solutions of chromic sulfate, and for tin amalgam in aqueous solutions of chromic sulfate or sodium nitrate were found to be definitely less than two. The potential behavior of the tin amalgam anode during the electrolyses was studied for most experimental conditions which were used. It seems any change of the potential did not have too much influence on the Vi value. Also changing the pH values of the various electrolyte solutions which were under investigation did not significantly influence the Vi value. It was concluded that a low-valent tin cation which is formed anodically is the most natural explanation of the observations.


Copyright 1964 Thomas Sze-sing Soh


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