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Effect of Sulphor Dioxide in combination with Sodium Chloride on electrical contacts

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Effect of Sulphor Dioxide in combination with Sodium Chloride on electrical contacts

Post  AnnBee on Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:25 pm

I am involved in an experiment to understand the behaviour of an electrical current flowing between an anode and cathode across a 500microSiemens solution after said anode and cathode have been exposed to sulphor dioxide mixed with a 5% salt concentration water. Specific gravity of 1.030. Using a simple 3v battery and an LED I can see whether any current flows across the solution.

The conundrum is this.
Initially I dip my anode and cathode in the 500microSiemen solution before any exposure to S02 and no appreciable current flows (No LED lit). I then expose the anode and cathode to a 5% salt concentration for 48hrs continuously with 1 hours worth of sulphor dioxide mixed into the spray every 4 hrs. After this exposure, i wash the items down in running tap water, wipe them vigorously to get rid of any salt deposits and then leave them to air dry.

Now when I dip my anode and cathode in the 500microSiemen solution it appears that I have created a much more conductive path because my LED lights. The anode and cathode both have a base metal of copper, then Nickel Plated and then gold plated over the Nickel. They are about a half inch apart.

My starting salt spray has a ph of around 6.5 and after introducing the S02 it falls to around 2.8.

Can anyone point me to a scientific reference that might help me explain what's going on here. Why has conductivity changed? I have ruled out the direct effect of salt deposits not properly washed away because the experiment was also done without the S02 and my LED does not light - so it definitely seems like the introduction of the S02 has caused an increased mobility in the electrons/ions through my 500microSiemen solution.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions/academic references



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