This monograph is an introductory text of electrochemistry for students of Science, Technology and Engineering at the very elementary level (Second year University students and their equivalent counterparts in Technical and Teachers Training Colleges). It may also be used as a refresher for upper level students at these institutions. The science of electrochemistry has undergone very dramatic changes in the past fifty years and its slow development at an earlier stage was due mainly to the fact that Nernstian equilibrium treatment of the subject does not tell the whole truth about electrochemical systems and their reactions. Application of kinetics to the study of electrochemistry has accelerated the pace and its eventual recognition as an important branch of science in its own right.
Despite this recognition, elementary textbooks at the first Year University degree program levels have tended to treat this branch of science with cursory and utmost brevity. The unfortunate consequence of this is that students are not fully aware of the important technology that goes along with electrochemistry. These students are, perhaps, aware only of the Nernstian relationship and just the vague notion of accumulator cells.
The aim of this monograph therefore is both to enlighten and to heighten the inquisitive and, I dare say, enthusiastic minds of the young students who may wish to know more about the important fundamentals and application of this branch of science.
Chapters one and two of this short monograph are merely a revision and recapitulation of the basic information. Chapter three discusses the application of the electrochemical theory. Different battery systems, their manufacture and assembly are discussed. Fuel cell technology is also discussed. The very important analytical techniques, potentiometry/ion selective electrode is briefly mentioned. Electrosynthesis of organic compounds, popularized by Manuel Baizer, after his development of electrohydrodimerization of acetonitrile to adiponitrile (a process known as the "Monsanto Process) is discussed. Electroplating and corrosion, important aspects in which electrochemical knowledge is vital, are also discussed.
Application of electrochemical knowledge far transcends these aforementioned fields. They go into electrorefining, electrowinning, electromachining, electrodeposition, electroforming, etc. The discussion of these latter applications are beyond the scope of this monograph and their mention only serves to stress the very importance and extent to which electrochemical knowledge can be applied.
The writing of this monograph was necessitated by the very welcome inquisitiveness of my first year degree students at the Federal University of Technology, Yola, Nigeria, whose ferocious thirst for knowledge was an incentive.
I sincerely hope that their knowledge of this branch of science will be both widened and accelerated for a future pursuit after reading this monograph.