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Encyclopedia > Electrolytic cell

Contents

Electrolytic cells are composed of a vessel used to do electrolysis, containing electrolyte, usually a solution of water or other solvents capable of dissolving various ions into solution, and a cathode and anode. The electrolyte in the cell is inert unless driven by external voltage into a redox reaction with the anode and cathode. The term literally means a cell that splits up or loosens ions. It has been suggested that Electrolytic process be merged into this article or section. ... An electrolyte is a substance containing free ions which behaves as an electrically conductive medium. ... Dissolving table salt in water This article is about a chemical solution; for other uses of the term solution, see solution (disambiguation). ... Impact of a drop of water. ... For other uses, see Solvent (disambiguation). ... “Multivalent” redirects here. ... Diagram of a copper cathode in a Daniells cell. ... Diagram of a zinc anode in a galvanic cell. ... International safety symbol Caution, risk of electric shock (ISO 3864), colloquially known as high voltage symbol. ... Illustration of a redox reaction Redox (shorthand for oxidation/reduction reaction) describes all chemical reactions in which atoms have their oxidation number (oxidation state) changed. ...


Activation

An electrolytic cell is activated by applying electrical potential across the anode and cathode to force an internal chemical reaction between the ions in the solution and the anode or the cathode. Ions in the solution flow toward the electrodes. If the ions are positively charged cations they flow toward the cathode and are reduced. If the ions are negatively charged anions they flow to the anode and are oxidized. This reaction can be reversed to produce electricity in fuel cells. In electricity, current refers to electric current, which is the flow of electric charge. ... An ion is an atom or group of atoms with a net electric charge. ... Diagram of a copper cathode in a Daniells cell. ... ... A fuel cell is an electrochemical device similar to a battery, but differing from the latter in that it is designed for continuous replenishment of the reactants consumed; i. ...


Galvanic cells compared to electrolytic cells

In contrast, a galvanic cell, also known as a voltaic cell or an electrochemical cell, generates electricity using two metals that have different reaction potentials to the electrolyte which is ionically bridged. The ions are allowed to flow between the two solutions created when the two metals contact the electrolyte; the reaction difference of the two metals generates electricity. The difference between the two types of cells is that a galvanic cell must use dissimilar metals which are separated, except for ions, to produce a charge whereas an electrolytic cell has both anode and cathode suspended in the same solution and is driven by an external electrical charge; further, an electrolytic cell may use the same metal for cathode and anode. The Galvanic cell, named after Luigi Galvani, consists of two metals connected by an electrolyte which forms a salt bridge between the metals. ... Voltaic cell can connote: Galvanic cell Voltaic pile see also: battery (electricity), fuel cell This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... A demonstration electrochemical cell setup resembling the Daniell cell. ... Lightning strikes during a night-time thunderstorm. ...


Anode and cathode marking compared to charging

The anode and cathode in both types of cell are marked with the polarities of the current flow. In actual practice, the anode and the cathode in a galvanic cell swap functions during the charge portion of the cycle. Thus the electrode marked as anode for discharge is really acting as the cathode while charging and the electrode marked as cathode is actually acting as the anode during charging. In an electrolytic cell, the anode is where the electrons come up from the solution and the oxidation reaction creates electrons from reaction with the negative anions. The cathode reduces the ionic solution, drawing positive cations to the cathode and using electrons to reduce the cation. The polarity of an object is, in general, its physical alignment of atoms. ... Diagram of a zinc anode in a galvanic cell. ... Diagram of a copper cathode in a Daniells cell. ... Diagram of a zinc anode in a galvanic cell. ... Diagram of a copper cathode in a Daniells cell. ... Diagram of a copper cathode in a Daniells cell. ... Diagram of a zinc anode in a galvanic cell. ... Diagram of a zinc anode in a galvanic cell. ... Diagram of a copper cathode in a Daniells cell. ...


Usage

The electrolysis of salt water or acidic water is an easy example of electrolysis. The ionic solution is driven by current and produces hydrogen gas in a reduction reaction at the cathode using electrons to complete the hydrogen ions. At the anode oxygen gas is produced in an oxidizing reaction and electrons are given off as the oxygen ions combine. These electrons then flow up the anode and through the circuit. It has been suggested that Electrolytic process be merged into this article or section. ... Diagram of a copper cathode in a Daniells cell. ... Diagram of a zinc anode in a galvanic cell. ...


In molten salt (sodium chloride), when a current is passed through the salt the anode oxidizes chlorine which gives off electrons to the circuit. The cathode reduces sodium metal which deposits on the cathode using electrons to complete the sodium metal valence shell. This articles section called Other facts does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... In chemistry, valence, also known as valency or valency number, is a measure of the number of chemical bonds formed by the atoms of a given element. ...


Commercially, electrolytic cells are used in electrorefining and electrowinning of several non-ferrous metals. Almost all high-purity copper, zinc and lead is produced industrially in electrolytic cells. This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... General Name, Symbol, Number copper, Cu, 29 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 11, 4, d Appearance metallic pinkish red Atomic mass 63. ... General Name, Symbol, Number zinc, Zn, 30 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 12, 4, d Appearance bluish pale gray Atomic mass 65. ... For PB or pb as an abbreviation, see PB. General Name, Symbol, Number lead, Pb, 82 Chemical series poor metals Group, Period, Block 14, 6, p Appearance bluish gray Atomic mass 207. ...


Cell types


  Results from FactBites:
 
Electrolytic cell - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (330 words)
Electrolytic cells are composed of a vessel containing electrolyte (usually a solution of water or other solvents capable of dissolving various ions into solution), and a cathode and anode.
An Electrolytic cell is charged by applying electrical potential across the anode and cathode to force an internal chemical reaction between the ions in the solution and the anode and/or the cathode.
In actual practice the anode and the cathode in an electrolytic cell swap functions during the charge portion of the cycle; ie - the electrode marked as anode for discharge is really acting as the cathode while charging and the electrode marked as cathode is actually acting as the anode during charging.
SparkNotes: Electrolytic Cells: Electrolysis (1027 words)
Though the direction of electron flow in electrolytic cells may be reversed from the direction of spontaneous electron flow in galvanic cells, the definition of both cathode and anode remain the same--reduction takes place at the cathode and oxidation occurs at the anode.
Note that copper is spontaneously plated onto the copper cathode in the galvanic cell whereas it requires a voltage greater than 0.78 V from the battery to plate iron on its cathode in the electrolytic cell.
The answer is that the electrolytic cell reaction is not the only one occurring in the system-the battery is a spontaneous redox reaction.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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