Surface activation of manganese oxide electrode for oxygen evolution from seawater

K. Izumiya, E. Akiyama, H. Habazaki, A. Kawashima, K. Asami, K. Hashimoto, N. Kumagai

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Utilizing the fact that the equilibrium potential of oxygen evolution is lower than that of chlorine evolution, oxygen evolution in seawater electrolysis was enhanced by decreasing the polarization potential under galvanostatic conditions through increasing the effective surface area of manganese oxide electrodes. Electrodes were prepared by a thermal decomposition method. IrO2-coated titanium (IrO2/Ti electrode) was used as the substrate on which manganese oxide was coated (MnOx/ IrO2/Ti electrode). Subsequently, oxide mixtures of manganese and zinc were coated (MnOx-ZnO/ MnOx/IrO2/Ti electrode). The effective surface area of the MnOx ZnO/MnOx/IrO2/Ti electrodes was increased by selective dissolution of zinc (leaching) into hot 6 M KOH. The oxygen evolution efficiency of the MnOx/IrO2/Ti electrode was 68-70%. Leaching of zinc from the MnOx-ZnO/ MnOx/IrO2/Ti electrodes with 25 mol % or less zinc led to a significant increase in the oxygen evolution efficiency. The maximum efficiency attained was 86% after leaching of zinc from the MnOx-25 mol %ZnO/MnOx/IrO2/Ti electrode. However, large amounts of zinc addition, such as 40 mol % or more are detrimental because of a decrease in the oxygen evolution efficiency. This is due to the formation of a double oxide, ZnMnO3, which is hardly dissolved in hot 6 M KOH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1362-1368
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Electrochemistry
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Manganese oxide electrode
  • Oxygen evolution
  • Seawater electrolysis
  • Surface activation


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