Grove Cell

In the Grove's cell the copper plate in the Daniell's cell is replaced by a sheet of platinum, p, and the solution of copper sulphate by strong nitric acid. Dilute sulphuric acid, in the proportion of about one pint of acid to ten pints of water, is used in place of zinc sulphate solution, since, with the Grove's cell, we wish to obtain the highest E. M. F., and the lowest resistance rather than very great constancy.

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Detailed Description for Grove Cell

           Grove discovered that by arranging two platinum electrodes with one end of each immersed in a container of sulfuric acid and the other ends separately sealed in containers of oxygen and hydrogen, a constant current would flow between the electrodes. The sealed containers held water as well as the gases, and he noted that the water level rose in both tubes as the current flowed.

           Grove had speculated that the action in his gas battery occurred at the point of contact between electrode, gas, and electrolyte, but was at a loss to explain further. Ostwald, drawing on his pioneering work in relating physical properties and chemical reactions, solved the puzzle of Grove's gas battery. His exploration of the underlying chemistry of fuel cells laid the groundwork for later fuel cell researchers.





       By the time of the American Civil War, as telegraph traffic increased, the Grove cell's tendency to discharge poisonous nitrogen dioxide (NO2) fumes proved increasingly hazardous to health, and as telegraphs became more complex, the need for constant voltage became critical. The Grove cell was limited in this respect, because as the cell discharged, voltage reduced. Eventually, Grove cells were replaced in use by Daniell cells.



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