Date of Award
Masters of Science
Robert W. Schaefer
An interest in polarography of organic compounds developed because of the need for an instrumental technique to determine unstable chlorine compounds in askarels used in the electrical industry for dielectric fluids. A chance contamination of trichlorobiphenyl used to impregnate capacitors caused the electrical industry untimely failures in their devices in 1956. These compounds break down under the influence of heat and electrical stress to form a buildup of conducting species which ultimately cause capacitors to fail. (1) Several test methods have been developed,( 2) all of which involve anionic hydrolysis of the unstable compounds and a potentiometric titration of the resulting chloride ion. One of these tests has become the tentative standard of the ASTM.(3) Westinghouse workers have done work of a similar nature, and one of their tests was published in 1958.(l) Since polarity of a chlorine atom on an organic molecule correlates with its susceptibility to anionic attack and this further correlates with the relative ease of polarographic reduction, it was of interest to study this means as a possible test for detection of these reactive compounds.
Stahr, Henry Michael, "Polarographic investigation of an unusual contaminant in trichlorobiphenyl" (1961). Honors Theses. 2251.