Marcel Pourbaix

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Marcel Pourbaix
Born (1904-09-16)16 September 1904
Myshega, Tula Oblast, Russia
Died 28 September 1998(1998-09-28) (aged 94)
Uccle, Brussels, Belgium
Nationality Belgian
Fields Electrochemistry
Institutions Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
Alma mater Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
Known for Pourbaix diagrams

Marcel Pourbaix was born on 16 September 1904 in Myshega (Aleksin District, Tula Oblast, Russia, 54°31′N 37°2′E / 54.517°N 37.033°E / 54.517; 37.033), where his father was a consultant on an engineering project. A brilliant chemist, he performed his most well known research at the University of Brussels, studying corrosion. His biggest achievement is the derivation of potential-pH, better known as “Pourbaix Diagrams”. Pourbaix Diagrams are thermodynamic charts constructed using the Nernst equation and visualize the relationship between possible phases of a system, bounded by lines representing the reactions that transport between them. They can be read much like a phase diagram.

In 1963, Pourbaix produced "Atlas of Electrochemical Equilibria", which contains potential-pH diagrams for all elements known at the time. Pourbaix and his collaborators began preparing the work in the early 1950s.

Marcel Pourbaix was not only a scientist, but also a skilled pianist.


  • Pourbaix, M., Atlas of electrochemical equilibria in aqueous solutions. 2d English ed. 1974, Houston, Tex.: National Association of Corrosion Engineers.

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