However, the carbon anode itself is not normally involved in the anodic reaction.
The anode optionally may have a dispersed second solid phase that getters CO2 and SO2 gases that are produced during the anodic reaction.
Electroless metal plating solutions are formulated and controlled to provide high quality metal deposits by establishing the intrinsic cathodic reaction rate of the solution less than 110 % of the intrinsic anodic reaction rate.
The ratio of the anodic reaction rate to the cathodic reaction rate can be determined by electrochemical measurements, or it can be estimated by varying the concentration of the reactants and measuring the plating rates.
In addition, carbon dioxide generated from the anodic reaction is passively vented out of the system by using a C02 gas permeable membrane material integrated as part of the anode chamber construction.
According to the invention, the state of the reformer (16) is determined based on one or more predetermined characteristic curves correlated with anode efficiency.