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Gravity-Independent Water-Electrolysis Cell with a Palladium-Silver Alloy Cathode

Report Number: AMRL TDR 64-44
Author: Clifford, John E.
Author: Kolic, Edwin S.
Author: Faust, Charles L.
Corporate Author: Battelle Memorial institute
Laboratory: Biomedical Laboratory
Date of Publication: 1964-06
Pages: 36
Contract: AF 33(657)-10988
Project: 6373
Task: 637302
AD Number: AD0603358

The experimental investigation has demonstrated that a static water electrolysis cell with a palladium-silver alloy hydrogen-diffusion cathode is technically feasible. The best result was obtained with an experimental cell constructed with a 1/4-inch-diameter palladium-silver alloy tube of 5-mil wall thickness (0.5-inch effective length), a matrix of Teflon threads and calcium hydroxide impregnated with an electrolyte of 50 weight percent sodium hydroxide, and a platinum screen anode. The cell was operated satisfactorily independently of gravity for a minimum of 24 continuous hours with 97-100 percent hydrogen transmission at 75 amp/sq ft and 2.0 volts at 145C with water supplied as vapor (1 atmosphere partial pressure). Preliminary design estimates for a cell to supply breathing oxygen for 3 men (6 pounds O2 per day) indicate a very small cell (25 pounds, 0.2 cu ft) with low power consumption (760 watts).

RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine
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