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Supporting electrolytes are widely used in electrochemistry for electroanalytical methods. The role of supporting electrolytes is to increase the solution conductivity of the electrolyte in a chemical cell, but they do not participate in the electrochemical reaction themself. Supporting electrolytes can be broadly classified as inorganic salts, inorganic acids, buffers and organic solvents. Inorganic salts, such as KNO3, Na2SO4 and others, are commonly used in aqueous solution with the advantages of the redox potential of the positive and negative ions is on the outside of the potential window of water. Buffering systems, including acetate, phosphate, citrate and others, are commonly used when controlling the pH of a solution. When an organic solvent is used as a supporting electrolyte, high purity is required. Therefore, it must be thoroughly dried and free of moisture.
In addition, the electrolyte varies from solution to solution. For example, in tetrahydrofuran solvent, LiClO4, NaClO4 are commonly used supporting electrolytes. In acetonitrile solvent, NaClO4, LiClO4, LiCl, NaBF4, R4NClO4 and NBu4BF4 are suitable supporting electrolytes. Moreover, in dimethylamide solvent, LiCl, NaClO4, NaNO3, R4NX, R4NClO4, R4NBF4 are the chosen supporting electrolytes.
Supporting electrolytes are generally used in electroanalytical methods, especially polarography and voltammetry, which can be applied in trace analysis of metals and organic compounds, environmental analytic chemistry, pharmaceutical analysis and medicinal analysis.
Polarography: Polarography is an important electrochemical method. Polarography can be used to determine the concentration of a substance in a solution by measuring the current-potential curve of a polarized electrode obtained during electrolysis. However, migration currents are generated during polarographic testing. The appearance of the migration current is detrimental to the whole test process, so it is necessary to eliminate its influence. The transfer current can be effectively eliminated by adding a large number of supporting electrolytes. Therefore, supporting electrolytes gain more and more attention in polarography recently.
Voltammetry: Voltammetry is a very useful electrochemical method, which can be used to study the properties and mechanism of electrode reaction and the kinetic parameters of electrode process. Voltammetry can also be used for quantitative determination of reactant concentration, electrode surface adsorption coverage, electrode active area, electrode reaction rate constant, exchange current density, reaction transfer coefficient and other kinetic parameters. In voltammetry, support electrolytes are essential. With the improvement of analysis requirements, the role of support electrolytes become more and more important.
Alfa Chemistry is one of the largest providers of supporting electrolytes for electrochemistry in the world and the quality assurance is of prime importance to Alfa Chemistry. The solvent from Alfa Chemistry in the world is synonymous with reliability and excellent quality. Because of the exacting nature of our business and the regulatory demands placed upon our industry, Alfa Chemistry continues to be at the forefront in terms of compliance, accreditations and certifications.