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Name of the staff : D. Simhachalam
Designation : Lecturer
Branch : A.E.I.E
Institute : K.D.R.G.P.T, Wanaparthy.
Semester : III
Subject : Process Instrumentation-I
Subject code : AEI-305
Topic : Conductivity, Weight and
Humidity measurement
Duration : 100 minutes

Subtopic : Electrolytic Hygrometer

Teaching Aids : PPT, animations, Diagrams
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Upon completion of this topic, you will be able
to know about
• About Electrolytic Hygrometer
• Construction
• Specifications
• Description
• Principle of operation

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In the last class we have discussed about

• Definition of Relative humidity

• Necessity of humidity measurement

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Principle of operation

• The principle of measurement involves the

electrolysis of water into oxygen and hydrogen

• Two electrons are required for electrolysis of each

water molecule.

• The electrolysis current is a measure of the water

present in the sample.

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Principle of operation…

• The volumetric flow rate of the sample gas into the

electrolysis cell is controlled at a fixed value

• Then, the electrolysis current is a function of water

concentration in the sample.

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• It consists of two platinum wires

• They wound in double helical shape

• They are placed inside an insulating tube of internal

diameter above 0.5mm.

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Fig.1 Electrolytic hygrometer

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• Tube is made up of Teflon or Neoprene.

• The inter space of winding is coated with the

decomposing material.

• Here the decomposing material is pentoxide (P2O5)

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• A gas with moisture content is passed through the

analyser cell at the rate about 100 cc /min.

• Sufficiently large D.C voltage is applied to ends of

the platinum wires.

• The moisture in the gas is decomposed to hydrogen

and oxygen.

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• The system will reach equilibrium, if the rate of flow of

gas is constant.

• Then humidity absorption rate by P2O5 is equal to the

rate of decomposition.

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According to Faraday’s first law of electrolysis :

• The rate of decomposition of water is directly

proportional to the decomposition current

• i.e., M

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M = ZIt
M is amount of moisture absorbed.
Z is electromechanical constant.
I is electrolysis current
t is time

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• Measuring range : 0-2 to 0-2000 ppm

• Inaccuracy: 2 to 5% FS

• The cost of the instrument is $5000 to $10000 with

sample system

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We have discussed about

• Construction ,description , principle of operation and

specifications of Electrolytic hygrometer

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1. The water in the sample is decomposed after

electrolysis into
a) Oxygen
b) Hydrogen
c) Oxygen & Hydrogen
d) None

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1. The electrolysis current in the sample is a
function of
a) Water concentration
b) Oxygen concentration
c) Hydrogen concentration
d) None

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1. The decomposing material used in the electrolytic
hygrometer is
a) Phosphorous Pentoxyde
b) Nitrogen Pentoxyde
c) Both a) and b)
d) None

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1. According to Faraday’s first law of electrolysis,
the rate of decomposition of water is directly
proportional to the
a) Decomposition time
b) Decomposition current
c) Both decomposition time & current
d) None

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1. The electrolytic hygrometer is used to measures
a) The Dew Point temperature
b) Humidity
c) Both a) and b)
d) None

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Frequently Asked Questions

2. Explain the description and principle of operation of

Electrolytic hygrometer.

4. Draw the schematic diagram of Electrolytic


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