The possibility of using alkaline-stannate electrolytes in hydronic chemical current source as the hydrogen generator

Aircraft engines and power generators


Okorokova N. S.*, Prokof'ev M. V.**, Pushkin K. V.***, Sevruk S. D.****, Suvorova E. V.*****, Farmakovskaya A. A.******

Moscow Aviation Institute (National Research University), 4, Volokolamskoe shosse, Moscow, А-80, GSP-3, 125993, Russia



The article presents the investigations results of the most effective electrolyte-cathode compositions searching for hydronic chemical current source (CCS) with an aluminum anode. We examined current-voltage characteristics (CVC) of some metals and alloys — nickel, molybdenum, titanium, and steel Ст3 in purely alkaline electrolyte (4 M NaOH), and in alkaline electrolyte with addition of sodium stannate: 4M NaOH + 0,06M Na2SnO3∙3H2O. This alkali-stannate electrolyte has been sel ected for research because it is the most effective in terms of alkali aluminum anode corrosion inhibition in air-aluminum (AA) CCS with a gas diffusion cathode (GDC).

The best CVC in pure alkaline solution were obtained for molybdenum and nickel. However, molybdenum as the cathode showed a high tendency to hydrogen embrittlement. After a series of cathode tests the electrode made of molybdenum foil (0.1 mm) collapsed when installed in the test cell due to the small deforming effects.

In the alkaline-stannate electrolyte CVC of cathodes made of different metals were significantly deteriorateв due to the formation of the tin coating on the surface to a different degree, especially in prolonged and/or repeated use.

To explain the causes of different degree of potential reduction we carried out the structure investigations of the formed coating in the alkali-stannate electrolyte of electrodes made of various metals. The investigations were made by X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The surface of nickel electrode was studied. The electrode was tested as the cathode for three experiments in a row to obtain discharge characteristics of a hydronic CCS in a cell with an anode fr om an Al-In alloy. Stationary discharge current was set to 1000 A/m2.

As the experiments showed, the structure of the tin coating formed on the electrode surface is porous with a high degree of porosity (~ 50%). It causes the difference in the CVCs of cathodes of different metals due to hydrogen evolution, both on the surface of the substrate (base material), and on surface coating.

Thus, it is shown that the use of stannate ions additives to the alkaline electrolyte of a hydronic CCS is undesirable, since it leads to deterioration of cathodes’ characteristics. Therefore, for inhibiting of the aluminum anode corrosion and, thereby, for increasing its use factor, it is necessary to introduce additions of organic inhibitors in an alkaline electrolyte of a hydronic CCS.


chemical current source, power plant, hydrogen generator, corrosion inhibitor, corrosion characteristics


  1. Podshivalov S.A., Ivanov Je.I., Muratov L.I. Energeticheskie ustanovki letatel’nykh apparatov (Aircraft power plants), Moscow, Energoizdat, 1981, 222p.

  2. Okorokova N.S. Pushkin. K.V. Elektronnyi zhurnal «Trudy MAI», 2012, no 51, available at: (accessed 26.03.2012)

  3. Okorokova N.S., Pushkin. K.V., Sevruk S.D., Farmakovskaja A.A. Vestnik Moskovskogo aviatsionnogo instituta, 2011, vol. 18, no.3, pp. 65-72.

  4. Okorokova N.S., Pushkin K.V., Sevruk S.D., Farmakovskaja A.A. Patent RU 105528, 10.06.2011.

  5. Kravchenko L.L., Okorokova N.S., Pushkin K.V., Sevruk S.D., Farmakovskaja A.A.. Vestnik Moskovskogo aviatsionnogo instituta, 2011, vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 74-81.

  6. Kravchenko L.L., Okorokova N.S., Pushkin K.V., Sevruk S.D., Farmakovskaja A.A.. Vestnik Moskovskogo aviatsionnogo instituta, 2012, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 73-80.

  7. Pushkin K.V., «Controlled hydrogen generator for independent power plants based on oxygen-hydrogen fuel cells», 9th Pegasus-AIAA Student Conference, Milano, 3-5 April, 2013; available at:

  8. Pushkin K.V., «Controlled hydrogen generator and additional source of electrical current for independent oxygen-hydrogen power plants», 29th Congress of the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences (ICAS), September 7-12, 2014; available at:

  9. Okorokova N.S. Razrabotka optimal’nykh kompozitsii rabochikh tel dlya energeticheskikh ustanovok na baze khimicheskikh istochnikov toka s alyuminievym anodom (Development of optimal composition of working bodies for power plants based on chemical current sources with aluminum anode) Ph. Doctor’s thesis, Moscow. MAI, 2012, p. 153.

  10. Karonik V.V., Klochkova L.L., Kulakov E.B., Servuk S.D., Farmakovskaja A.A. Protsessy na alyuminievom anode v shchelochnom elektrolite pri aktivirovanii i ingibirovanii ego poverkhnosti. Sbornik nauchnykh trudov. Moscow, no.169, pp.28-32.

  11. H. K. Birnbaum and H. Wadley. Hydrogen embrittlement of molybdenum, Scripta metallurgica, 1975 vol. 9, pp. 1113-1116.

Download — informational site MAI

Copyright © 2000-2024 by MAI