I am trying to understand how a galvanic cell where copper and mild steel are linked occurs. It seems that on most galvanic series, Fe and Cu are far enough apart (>.2V difference) that Fe would preferentially ionize to Fe+2, while copper is "plated" onto the copper electrode from solution.
I understand how to calculate the voltage difference given by the galvanic cell (roughly .45 V difference). What I do not understand is why the iron electrode even corrodes at all. On Pourbaix diagrams of Fe around pH of 7, it seems that either the cell potential of -0.45V or the galvanic series potential of -1.1V for iron would both put it near/within the stable Fe area of the Pourbaix diagram.
My questions is:
- Which potential/voltage do I use to determine stability on a Pourbaix: overall cell potential or galvanic series potential?
- If the pH and potential on a Pourbaix put it in the stable metal range, does that mean that no reaction will occur (since Cu needs to "get" e- from Fe turning into Fe+2)?