This paper describes the development, characterization and application of an Nb2O5 film formed on the surface of a carbon ceramic material, SiO2/C, obtained by a sol–gel method, using the spin-coating technique. The working electrode using this material will be designated as SiCNb. Hydroquinone and catechol can be oxidized at this electrode in the presence of resorcinol, allowing their simultaneous detection. The electrochemical properties of the resulting electrode were investigated using cyclic and differential pulse voltammetry techniques. Well-defined and separated oxidation peaks were observed by differential pulse voltammetry in Tris–HCl buffer solution at pH 7 containing 1 mol L−1 KCl in the supporting electrolyte solution. The SiCNb electrode exhibited high sensitivity in the simultaneous determination of hydroquinone and catechol in the presence of resorcinol, with the limits of detection for hydroquinone and catechol being 1.6 μmol L−1 and 0.8 μmol L−1, respectively. Theoretical calculations were performed to determine the ionization energies of hydroquinone, catechol and resorcinol; the results were used to explain the simultaneous determination of species by differential pulse voltammetry. The presence of resorcinol did not produce any interference in the simultaneous detection of hydroquinone and catechol on the surface of the modified electrode.
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