A quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) was used in conjunction with electrochemical measurements to study dissolution of pure magnesium (Mg) sensors in dilute NaCl electrolytes. Open circuit potential and potentiodynamic polarisation experiments were conducted in 0.01 M NaCl, having pH values 3 (buffered) and 6 (unbuffered). In the pH 3 solution, the Mg sensor showed a net mass-loss during the electrochemical tests, whereas, in the unbuffered pH 6 solution Mg showed a net mass-gain, corresponding to the growth of an Mg(OH)2 film on its surface. The loss in the electrochemical efficiency of Mg dissolution due to such direct parasitic Mg(OH)2 growth has been estimated to be around 17-34%. This loss relates to the low capacities and voltage fluctuations reported during discharge of primary Mg batteries.
- Anodic polarisation