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Standard Hydrogen Electrode (SHE)

Standard hydrogen electrode (Fig. 33.5) consists of a platinum wire sealed into a glass tube and carrying a platinum foil at one end. The platinum foil is coated with finely divided platinum. The electrode is placed in beaker containing an aqueous solution of some acid having one molar concentration of H+ ions. Hydrogen gas at 1 bar or 100 kPa pressure is continuously bubbled through the solution at a temperature of 298 K. The oxidation or reduction in the SHE takes place at platinum foil. Hence, it can act as anode as well as cathode and may be represented as:

If SHE acts as anode then oxidation will take place at it as

If SHE acts as cathode then reduction will take place at it as