Hanna Instruments offers a wide variety of pH electrodes that are designed for many different applications. The type of glass used for sensing pH, bulb shape, body material, type of junction, type of reference and electrolyte used are just some of the design considerations.
The FC1013 uses general purpose (GP) glass, spherical bulb, food grade PVDF body, single ceramic frit, double junction and is refillable with 3.5M KCl.
General Purpose Glass Formulation
General Purpose (GP) glass, as the name implies, is a standard glass formulation that is used for general use. A pH electrode with GP glass will have a resistance of 100 megaohms at 25℃ and is suited for measuring pH of samples that are at ambient temperatures. The FC1013 is suitable to use with samples that measure from 0 to 80℃.
The spherical bulb is for general purpose use within the food industry. Measurements can be made in liquids or slurries that allow easy measurement of solid and semi-solid food products. Other tip shapes include conic for penetration and flat tip for surface measurements.
Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) is a food grade plastic that is resistant to most chemicals and solvents, including sodium hypochlorite. It has high abrasion resistance, mechanical strength and resistance to ultraviolet and nuclear radiation. PVDF is also resistant to fungal growth.
Single Ceramic Double Junction Reference
The FC1013 is a double junction design. pH electrodes are available as single junction or double junction. See below for a complete description of the differences. The junction also known as a salt bridge is necessary component of the electrical circuit. The movement of ions must flow through the junction for a steady reading. The outer reference has a single ceramic frit. The ceramic is a porous material that is easily fused with the glass body and has a similar expansion coefficient. A single ceramic junction has a flow rate of 15-20 μL/hour. Other junction types are available with higher flow rates and made with different materials.
The FC1013 is a refillable probe. Since it is a double junction pH electrode the fill solution is the HI7082 3.5M KCl. This solution does not contain any silver as with single junction electrode. The absence of silver will prevent any silver precipitate from forming at the junction surface and clogging it. Clogging of the junction will result in drifty and erratic readings.
The FC1013 uses a quick connect DIN connector. This type of connector isspecific to Hanna pH meters. Other type of connectors include BNC, screw type, T-type, and 3.5mm to name a few.
Single Junction Versus Double Junction pH Electrodes
Conventional electrodes are normally single junction. As depicted by the figure above, these electrodes have only a single junction between the internal reference wire and the external solution. Under adverse conditions, such as high pressure, high temperature, highly acidic or alkaline solutions, the positive flow of the electrolyte through the junction is often reversed resulting in the ingress of sample solution into the reference compartment. If this is left unchecked, the reference electrode can become contaminated, leading to complete electrode failure. Another potential problem with single junction electrodes is the clogging of the junction due to silver chloride (AgCl) precipitation. Silver can be easily precipitate in samples that contain Tris buffer or heavy metals. When the electrolyte solution makes contact with the sample, some AgCl will precipitate on the external face of the junction. The result is drifty readings obtained from the sensor.
Hanna’s double junction system, as the name implies, has two junctions, only one of which is in contact with the sample as shown in the figure. Under adverse conditions, the same tendency of sample ingress is evident. However, as the reference electrode system is separated physically from the intermediate electrolyte area, the contamination of the electrode is minimized. The likelihood of clogging of the junction is also reduced with a double junction electrode since the outer reference cell uses a fill solution that is “silver-free”. Since there is no silver present, there is no precipitate forming to clog the junction.