Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Platinized Ti anodes from ebay: fake ?

metalresearcher - 13-3-2021 at 02:43

Two weeks ago I ordered two from ebay for $9 each and got them today. I already suspected them for fake because the low price.
First, on the package it stated 5 microns of Pt were plated and I calculated the amount of Pt used if this were true.
The total surface is 100cm2 and thickness is 5um == 0.0005cm which makes 0.05cm3 of Pt which is about 1 gram. And one gram costs about $40, so that is already not true.

But I tried it anyway, using with electrolyzing a KClO3 solution using a Ti cathode. The solution turned yellow and then brown. Possibly Fe3+ which tells the anode is stainless steel (where are the Cr3+ and Cr6+ and Ni2+?) ?
After the electrolysis (max 4 amps, 30 minutes run) the 'platinized' anode appeared yellow which tells it is no Pt at all.

Here some photos. Is there a reliable source of these anodes ? There are soooo many sellers on ebay but which ?

RX609835.JPG - 1.9MB RX609834.JPG - 2MB

RX609832.JPG - 2.3MB

[Edited on 2021-3-13 by metalresearcher]

B(a)P - 13-3-2021 at 02:53

I got a great Pt anode from here

Fyndium - 13-3-2021 at 04:00

I must solve this mystery, but in YT many videos regard making PbO2 electrodes very easily with sulfuric acid and they can be used for both chlorates, so getting platinum seems counter-intuitive.

woelen - 13-3-2021 at 06:09

At least contact the seller, telling that it is fake. You could also claim back your money. Although the amount is small, doing that may help getting less of these fake offers on eBay.

I myself once purchased so-called 99.999% Sb from a chinese seller, also for a too good to be true price. When I received the material, it was looking indeed clean and nice and shiny. Nice brittle crystalline pieces of Sb. But 99% Sb also can look nice and shiny and 99.9% Sb certainly does. So, appearance is not a good indicator for extreme purity.
I told him that I was going to test it, and if I found it really was 99.999% I would order much more from him (I do not have any means to test for such purity, but that is something he does not need to know). I immediately received a reply that the material was not that pure and he also immediately refunded me. Apparently he really did not want negative feedback. He told me, his supplier stated it as 99.9% and he apologized for making a mistake in describing the material on the eBay listing. When checked the offer the next day, it was removed and a new offer was made for antimony crystals of 3N purity. So, contacting a seller can help remove fake or too optimistic offers. For 3N purity, the price was good, but not exceptional.

metalresearcher - 13-3-2021 at 07:57

woelen, thanks.

I have contacted them.

I did another test with KCl solution and within a minute, greenish brown precipitate appeared on the anode. Probably it is stainless steel (colors of Fe2O3, NiO, Cr2O3). I filtered the crud out and a clear solution left over.

yobbo II - 13-3-2021 at 14:28

Are you sure you did the weight calculation correct? One gram of Pr at 5 micron will cover allot of area


draculic acid69 - 13-3-2021 at 18:36

That is definitely not a real anode for that price. Do what woelen suggested.if it helps get takes off the market good.
And that link b(a)P posted has very decent prices on electrodes but I can beat his prices on the platinum wire.

unionised - 14-3-2021 at 03:15

Do these "platinised titanium" electrodes stick to a magnet?

metalresearcher - 14-3-2021 at 03:46

Quote: Originally posted by unionised  
Do these "platinised titanium" electrodes stick to a magnet?

No, neither Ti nor Pt stick to a magnet.
I tested the anode as a cathode and even then the solution turned yellow. I filtered that off and used the MMO anode and the stainless steel cathode as usual and no coloration took place.
Btw, I ordered the anode which B(a)P mentioned. I hope that does work.

metalresearcher - 23-3-2021 at 08:39

Here I am again.

Now I got the 'real' platinized Ti anode from 'gallium_guy' from ebay and tested it by letting it run for more than an hour in a KCl solution (6V 3A). It performed excellently, no crud and solution remained clear.

So it appeared to be real.

I have yet to test it on a KClO3 solution to make KClO4.

njl - 23-3-2021 at 09:03

I think unionised meant you can use a magnet to test if they are steel or titanium

metalresearcher - 23-3-2021 at 10:58

Quote: Originally posted by njl  
I think unionised meant you can use a magnet to test if they are steel or titanium

First, stainless steel is not attracted by a magnet. And, unlike Ti, it will be attacked as an anode.
Second, if it is Ti, it cannot be checked whether it is platinized. Non-platinized Ti anode is not attacked as well, but becomes passivated as there a protective layer of TiO2 is formed, lowering the current.

njl - 23-3-2021 at 11:10

Quote: Originally posted by metalresearcher  

First, stainless steel is not attracted by a magnet.

*Some stainless steels are not attracted to magnets. Some are. Like the kind that might be found in a 7 dollar electrode.

unionised - 23-3-2021 at 12:38

My point was that, if it sticks to a magnet, you can send it back ( or demand a refund) without any more complicated testing.

Mateo_swe - 25-3-2021 at 03:32

I dont think those cheap anodes are plain fakes but i im very sceptical of how thick the actual layer of platinum are and also the quality.
I have bought one of those a while ago but never used it, so i will follow this thread and see what you find out.
I guess they could be plain fakes also but i think a extremely thin coating is more likely as its much harder to prove fake.
I think you basicly can go by the cost and if its too good to be true, its almost 0 chance you get a good anode.

Blunotte - 25-3-2021 at 05:42

So let's do the math:
Currently a 1/10 oz platinum coin costs around € 180 plus expenses, let's put € 200.
In 1/10 of an oz there are more than 3 grams of platinum, or 0.15 cubic cm
gallium_guy (the seller of the second post on eBay) says the thickness of his electrodes is 1 micron
With 0.15 cubic cm, with a thickness of one micron, it is possible to cover 1500 square cm, or 15 plates, right?
Taking into account that we can also cover any corroded plates, wouldn't it be better?
I believe that on this forum you can find instructions for doing a galvanic bath and coating a plate by electroplating, right?

Here you can find HOW to do:

[Edited on 25-3-2021 by Blunotte]